CREWE Alexandra assistant manager Kenny Lunt spoke glowingly of academy graduates George Cooper and James Jones after both extended their contracts with the club.

The midfield duo triggered options on their current deals to tie them to Gresty Road until summer 2018.

And Lunt, who came through the club’s youth system himself, said he hoped Cooper and Jones’ commitment can help the club continue to push back up the English football pyramid.

“It’s great news. They’re two of our players that we’ve brought through the academy and we’ve got high hopes for them,” he said.

“They’ve both been main players for us this year. Hopefully they can keep developing and keep carrying on what they’re doing and then eventually moving on in the future.

“We don’t want players of that standard to leave us now. We want to keep them, add to the squad then hopefully they’ll keep on improving.

“They’ve still got a bit to do; both could score more goals, and if they can both keep doing that then I’m sure the time will come when people will starting looking at them.”

Both players started for The Alex in a 2-1 defeat to Cambridge United on Saturday, which denied them a fourth straight victory.

Despite Saturday’s loss, Alex boss Dave Artell has been nominated for the League Two Manager of the Month award for March.

The winner of the award will be revealed tomorrow, Friday, and Lunt says the nomination is deserved due to the hard work Artell and his staff have put in.

“It’s great for him. It was his third month in charge of the team and he’s done really well to turn things around,” he said.

“I spoke to Dave and we put it all down to the players and everyone who works at this football club.

“Every member of staff, anyone who does anything here, we all work together and we’re all trying to do the right things.

“We all want to succeed and we all want the Club to do as well as possible.”

The Alex sit 17th in the League Two table and travel to Accrington Stanley on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Midfielder Danny Hollands will miss the game as he continues his recovery from a serious hamstring injury, but Lunt hopes he can still play a part in Crewe’s season and perhaps beyond that.

“Danny is a quick healer and he’s coming along nicely. Hopefully we’ll have him back before the end of the season,” Lunt said.

“There’s a lot of players whose contracts are up. For Danny especially, he’s had this serious injury and if he can get back before the end of the season then we can see how he is and see whether he has come back well.

“If he does that then I’m sure he’ll be here next year.”