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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Sunday, 13 February 2011

Return of strikers pleases Crewe manager Dario Gradi

Crewe Alexandra striker Clayton Donaldson
Donaldson was sent off in the win against Bradford on 25 January

Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi has said he faces a selection dilemma when strikers Shaun Miller and Clayton Donaldson return to action on Saturday.

A thigh strain has kept Miller out for two matches, while Donaldson has completed a three-match suspension.

"The good thing is having the boys back and the difficult thing is picking the team," Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke.

"That is a good problem to have, rather than not knowing where I am going to get my players from."

AJ Leitch-Smith and Byron Moore have been playing up front for the Alex and have impressed Gradi, with Leitch-Smith scoring twice in his last three starts.

Crewe had been on an excellent run of form prior to the loss of their two main strikers, who have contributed 29 goals between them in all competitions this season.

But defeats at Northampton and Rotherham, followed by a 1-1 draw at home to Gillingham on Saturday, have left Crewe ninth in League Two, three points away from the play-off places.

However, after conceding nine goals in their previous two matches, Gradi was happy with the way his side defended against the Gills.

"We looked powerful in the air," said the 69-year-old, who won the Manager of the Month award for January.

"Whatever you think of Mat Mitchel-King, he's helped us in that area. We looked bigger and we looked better in there."

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see also
Crewe 1-1 Gillingham
12 Feb 11 |  League Two
Powell still needs time - Gradi
03 Feb 11 |  Crewe
Crewe front men battle for start
27 Jan 11 |  Crewe
Crewe 2-1 Bradford
25 Jan 11 |  League Two
Miller eyes top goalscorer crown
18 Jan 11 |  Crewe

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