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Checkatrade Trophy

Trophy Northern Area Final preview

20 February 2013

Crewe Alexandra have one foot firmly in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final but will be warned against complacency ahead of the second leg of the Northern Area Final against Coventry City

The Railwaymen lead the tie convincingly having won the first leg 3-0 at the Ricoh Arena in front of 31,054 people - a record attendance for a match outside the Final at Wembley.

Steve Davis' team weren't in action in npower League 1 at the weekend, which gave the manager the chance to watch Coventry beat Bury 2-0.

After watching the Sky Blues win at Gigg Lane, Davis believes it's all to play for in the second leg.

"Coventry were very good [against Bury]. They started each half really well and are a team that can create chances," he observed on

"They can score goals, so we will have to defend well and keep our discipline throughout. They didn't have much luck in front of goal against us in the first leg.

"We know they are a good side and no-one here is foolish enough to think that this tie is over.

"We will have to defend better and deny them opportunities. They come with nothing to lose and they will have a go. We know what to expect from them and will have a game plan."

Coventry certainly have it all to do if they are to make their first trip to Wembley in 26 years, with that three-goal deficit hanging over them.

It's been all-change behind the scenes at the Ricoh Arena since that first leg defeat with boss Mark Robins leaving for Huddersfield Town, and it's difficult to gauge how that will affect them in this tie.

It certainly didn't derail their good league form, though, with that weekend victory against the Shakers coming under the guidance of caretaker boss Lee Carsley.

And 38-year-old Carsley insists the Area Final isn't over, drawing on some of his experiences as a player to inspire the team.

He told "I have been involved in this sort of scenario before when I was at Everton and we played Fiorentina. We were easily beaten 2-0 in the first leg, we didn't even have a kick.

"It felt like there was no way we were going to come back but we got an early goal and that changed everything.

"We dominated the game and got a second goal to go level. You could sense they were going to crumble as soon as we got that early goal and we took them all the way to penalties in the end.

"It just shows that this happens at all levels of football and that there is no pressure on us."

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