Date:Friday September 30 2011
Not many fans would have pin pointed Adam Dugdale as the one player to, after 10 games, not miss a minute of football so far this season for the Alex.
It's to Duggy's credit that he has cemented himself as an integral part of the Alex back four this season. Returning to the club on trial last summer, Dugdale was perhaps unfairly dismissed by some fans throughout the season and the reasons for that seemed trivial at best. He wasn't after all a 'big signing' of any sort and, being a returnee, it played into the criticisms that Dario has his 'favourites'.
A couple of contract extensions later and 33 apps for the club, fans opinions on Duggy are just about swaying the right way. I have to say, I never thought Dugdale even looked out of his depth last season - he was steady when called upon - but his further improvement over the summer and into this season has been brilliant to see.
Speaking to the BBC this week Dugdale said that it was the doubters who spurred him on to improve and eventually secure his place in the back four alongside David Artell and more recently Carl Martin.
'Last season I was getting a bit of stick, but I took it on the chin. In fact, I thrived on it. When people said I wasn't good enough, it made me more determined to prove them wrong.
'I must admit when the fans are shouting 'Duggy' at me now I don't know what to do with myself.'
It's not just his performances that will have turned fans opinions. When he returned last year he said the experience of the depths of the non-league has taught him to take the chance of professional football with both hands, and that passion is certainly shining through.
He seems set on achieving not only as a player but with Crewe Alexandra and whilst he's putting in performances to back it up, there are few who would begrudge him his place amongst the starting 11 this season.
is popularity is now clear to see both on Twitter, where there's nowhere to hide when it comes to fan opinion, and also on Vital, where he seems to be sweeping up every Man of the Match Award (although I can neither confirm or deny rumours of dodgy votes!).
And who knows, it's been said on more than one occasion already… Captain Dugdale?
Date:Friday September 30 2011
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|20. Sheff Utd||19||4||5||10||-10||17|
|23. Bristol City||19||2||9||8||-6||15|
|24. Notts County||20||4||2||14||-13||14|
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