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Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Monday, 7 February 2011

Dario Gradi critical of Crewe Alexandra defenders

Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi
Gradi's side conceded two late goals in their defeat at Rotherham

Crewe manager Dario Gradi has told his defenders that they must perform better to keep any hopes of promotion alive.

The Alex have conceded nine goals in defeats at Northampton and Rotherham and dropped out of the top seven with a 3-1 defeat at the Don Valley Stadium.

Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke: "If we're going to defend like that we're going to be in a bit of trouble.

"You can look at the play-offs but I'm still looking at relegation because teams are doing well down there."

Only Stockport and Barnet have conceded more goals than Crewe in League Two this season, while the Alex have let in 32 goals away from home, the worst record in the division.

One positive to take from the defeat at Rotherham was the return of Mat Mitchel-King, who played his first full game for the first team since undergoing a hernia operation in November.

"I feel fit and I haven't had any reaction to the operation," the former Histon defender said. "It's been about eight weeks since I had the operation and I'm already back in Dario's mind so that's good."

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see also
Rotherham 3-1 Crewe
05 Feb 11 |  League Two
Crewe showed discipline - Gradi
02 Feb 11 |  Crewe
Northampton 6-2 Crewe
01 Feb 11 |  League Two
February is a key month - Murphy
01 Feb 11 |  Crewe
Crewe front men battle for start
27 Jan 11 |  Crewe

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