CREWE FC face their sternest test on Saturday - a trip to Cheshire League leaders and reigning champions Knutsford.

And Crewe manager Carl Everall is using the clash as a yardstick for the remainder of the season.

He said: “It’s the game we feel will decide what exactly we can achieve this season.

“As the in-form team in the division, we are still yet to register an away win in my control despite some positive performances.

“That is partly down to disasters on penalties in two games and not being able to convert our chances.

“We lost 1-0 to Knutsford due to a Craig Harris back pass being intercepted in my first game in charge at home but I feel we could have taken all three points on that day - and we've come a long way since then!”

Everall has set out his team’s aims for the Manchester Road clash.

“Our game will certainly start by using our defensive record to our advantage as we will play compact and hard to beat which we've continued to work hard at in training - with specific coaching from female level two coach Linzi Hall - who also works for the FA.

“Although we are the away team, we will look to get hold of the ball and play 'the Crewe way' by controlling the game with large spells of possession. Bringing key player Lee Smith back into the team will certainly help us have control on the game.”

And he will be looking to get nthe best out of individuals within the ranks.

“No doubt top scorer Mike Blundell needs to up his game on the road,” he said.

“He's our most naturally gifted player but I feel he can give us a bit more than recently in away games. When he plays well, he's a fantastic outlet and the team functions better.”

Everall said there are no injury concerns and is looking for a strong finish to the campaign.

He said: “I feel if we beat knutsford, we have four home games on the spin and we can really play catch-up to finish in the top two positions.

“I know the lads are good enough, its just about phychology and getting them to perform week in, week out to their true potential.”