Crewe left short at the back

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Crewe manager Dave Artell is short of defensive options ahead of Saturday's League Two clash with Newport.

Crewe manager Dave Artell is short of defensive options ahead of Saturday’s League Two clash with Newport.

Full-backs Corey Whelan and Kevin O’Connor have returned to their parent clubs at the end of their loans, leaving the Alex thin at the back.

However, Artell is still open to central defender Michael Raynes leaving the club this month, despite a calf injury for Eddie Nolan.

Brad Walker has left the club, signing for Shrewsbury but being sent out on loan to Wrexham.

Dan Butler could return for Newport, having missed the FA Cup upsetting of Leicester through suspension.

Tyreeq Bakinson is also available after extending his loan deal until the end of the season.

However, Michael Flynn is looking for reinforcements up front after on-loan striker Mark Harris returned to Cardiff.

Though spirits are high after the win over the Foxes, Newport have taken only one point from their last five League Two fixtures to fall off the pace in the fight for play-off places.

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