Crewe Alexandra manager Steve Davis believes his side are still struggling to get the grips having lost midfield duo Luke Murphy and Ashley Westwood.
Murphy moved from Crewe to Leeds United in 2013 for a deal worth over £1 million, with the Whites beating Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers to secure the signature of the 25-year-old.
Meanwhile, Westwood swapped the Railwaymen for Aston Villa in 2012 for around £2 million, as he headed to the English Premier League.
The Alex enjoyed a spell of success in the form of winning promotion from the English League Two well as an English Football League Cup victory, in 2012 and 2013, but more recent seasons have seen Crewe battling to avoid the relegation in the English League One.
Davis feels quality in midfield is lacking and has bemoaned the departures of Murphy and Westwood.
“We need to add more quality and I want footballers that are comfortable on the ball”, he told the Crewe Guardian, while stressing that he feels his current squad is better than the one that started the season.
“We need to be playing more football, controlling the game more and producing some more energy.
“It’s been hard to replace the likes of Westy and Murph but that is what we need to do.
“If you have the quality and ability to pass, it doesn’t matter what system you play because they can adapt”, he added.
With Crewe finishing one place above the drop zone in League One last season, surviving by just two points, the club have found replacing the midfield quality of Murphy and Westwood a tough task at present, despite having a renowned youth set-up.