David Artell deemed his side's performance against Burton Albion in the Leasing.com Trophy as 'unacceptable' after three first half goals sealed a victory for the visitors.
Second half substitute Paul Green did notch a consolation three minutes from time, but the damage had already been done to a Crewe side which made eight changes to the starting XI to give some of the fringe players a chance to impress.
Artell said: “Poor result, poor performance – certainly for the first 45 minutes.
“You can’t approach the game in the way some of our players did against any team, let alone a team from a higher division.
“They’re a good team, but we did nothing different from what we’d do if it was a league game & some players have let themselves down.
“Me & Kenny both called it. I’m not trying to be a clever sod, but you can tell when players are training properly. There you go, don’t come & knock on my door again.
“First ten minutes we were fine, the better team in fact. Then for the next half an hour we weren’t & then for the five minutes before half-time we were fine – apart from the goal.
“That time inbetween, we were miles away from the standards the players have set & we can’t do that.
“I only shout at them if they do one of three things. Not run around, whack it or not try to win. So what do you reckon I did?
“They know the standards, they know the expectations & they know I’m not an unreasonable guy – I think.
“It’s the first time this season that’s been the case because we weren’t like that against Villa, we had a right good go. Tonight we didn’t, we just rolled over like a puppy waiting for our tummy’s to be tickled.”