Artell rates Davis the best

Davis: Has his Alex skipper's praise

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David Artell believes Steve Davis should be recognised as the best manager in League Two this season.

Davis replaced long-serving boss Dario Gradi in November with Alex 18th in the table, and they suffered a 4-1 FA Cup defeat to Colchester in his first game in charge.

But from then on the 49-year-old, in his first Football League job, brought about a drastic change in fortunes and a club-record 19-match unbeaten run culminating in a 2-0 play-off final triumph over Cheltenham last weekend to earn his side a surprise promotion.

"You see these awards for manager of the year and all that - for me, in League Two, it's Steve Davis," said Railwaymen skipper Artell. "He took a side that were 18th and took them into League One. That's no mean feat at all.

"He's done a fantastic job. He's instilled that doggedness and resilience that we probably didn't have at the beginning of the season and it's showed. You don't go 19 unbeaten if you haven't got that and we've coupled it with the talent that was already on show."

Meanwhile, Artell, 31, who is out of contract next month, has declared his desire to pen a new deal with the club.