Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis signs new 18-month rolling deal

Steve Davis

Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis has signed a new, improved 18-month rolling contract with the League One club.

The 47-year-old former Crewe, Burnley and Barnsley centre-half had been on a rolling three-month deal since succeeding Dario Gradi a year ago.

Alex were close to the League Two relegation zone when Davis replaced Gradi at Gresty Road 13 months ago.

But the turnaround under his leadership triggered Wembley play-off final glory against Cheltenham Town in May.

And, despite the summer departure of Premier League-bound pair Nick Powell to Manchester United and Ashley Westwood to Aston Villa, Crewe's remoulded side have more than held their own in League One, climbing to within seven points of the play-off zone.

Having been linked with the vacancy at his former club Burnley in October, Davis has also been reported as figuring on the radar of clubs higher up the league ladder.

But he told BBC Radio Stoke: "I want to stay and push this club as far as I can.

"We've sat down and spoken about it and I'd be delighted to stay here longer and see this job through."

Meanwhile, Crewe have been handed a double boost from their treatment room after defender Kelvin Mellor and AJ Leitch-Smith were both given the all-clear to return to training.

Mellor, 21, who has missed six matches with a knee ligament injury, has been given the all clear following a scan.

And Leitch-Smith has recovered from the ankle ligament injury he suffered in a challenge by Portsmouth midfielder Brian Howard in mid-October.

They join fit-again winger Michael West, who has made just five appearances since his summer move from Ebbsfleet.

Defender Matt Tootle will also be back in contention for next weekend's home game with Bury after being suspended for this Saturday's trip to Preston.

Tootle received the first red card of his career when he was sent off for a second bookable offence in Tuesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Doncaster Rovers.

"In wet conditions like that, it was easy to mis-time a tackle," said assistant manager Neil Baker. "But it leaves us short as Kelvin Moore is not ready for action yet."