Hi: 21° Lo:10°
By Steve Carpenter Thursday 07 February 2013 Updated: 07/02 11:19
SKY Blues midfielder Gary McSheffrey remains confident the club can turn their Johnstone Paint Trophy area final around and secure a trip to Wembley.
Mark Robins' side were left cursing their luck in front of goal on Tuesday night despite the backing of a record attendance of 31,054 at the Ricoh Arena.
But they watched on in horror as the hosts wasted numerous chances before Crewe made them pay thanks to a second-half brace from Bradden Inman and a neat late finish by AJ Leitch-Smith.
The second leg at Gresty Road is on February 20.
“We're all gutted and disappointed,” McSheffrey told the Observer.
“But we've gone to places this year and scored four goals, won 3-0 and 4-1 so I can't see why we can't go and do that again at their place.
“We know it's not impossible but it's going to be difficult. If we go there and get the first goal then we know we're right back in this tie.
“The atmosphere was great and even at the end nobody really booed despite us losing 3-0. They know we did our best to win the game but unfortunately it was one of those night where things didn't go our way.”
Leon Clarke and Stephen Elliott were denied by an inspired Steve Phillips in the Crewe goal and Steve Jennings fired over right before the break after being put clean through on goal.
It was a similar story in the second half with the Sky Blues proving wasteful in front of goal and Crewe deployed the perfect game plan by hitting the hosts on the break on three occasions.
“We played the first half with a good tempo and we probably should have went in ahead because we created lots of chances,” McSheffrey continued.
“We've come out in the second half and again created a couple of close efforts and we were starting to dominate the game again, but then they've scored a great goal from their point of view and that was a big blow.
“It was a sloppy goal for us to concede from our point of view, we were took weak but at that point we should have understood that it was a two-legged game. It's just demoralising really because we should have been two or three goals ahead at half-time.”
Attention now turns back to the league as Robins' side host Yeovil on Saturday in a bid to secure a lot in the play-offs for the first time this season.
McSheffrey added: “It is always disappointing the night you lose and the day after but come Thursday and Friday we'll be ready to train and prepare for the game.
“That's the good thing about football there's always the next game to put things right and we've got a couple of league games now between the second leg and we've just got to concentrate on our league form and make sure that doesn't get affected by this.”
STRIKER Danny Philliskirk has joined the Sky Blues
MARK Robins deserves all the plaudits for turning
BLAZE stars past and present gather to celebrate
SAM Parsons admitted he exited the English National
Southern League - Central Division Bedworth 1 Rugby 1 BANKHoliday ...
Highgate United 3 Studley 5 Midland Football League Division One ...
LEAMINGTON defeated Saturday's visitors Tamworth by three wickets to be ...