Crawley Town boss Dermot Drummy admitted his side failed to move the ball around quickly enough against their Crewe opponents.
Reds looked second best during their 3-0 defeat at home against fourth from bottom opponents.
Crewe took the lead just before half-time from the penalty spot, awarded for a foul by Josh Lelan on Ben Nugent.
It was the third recent spot-kick awarded against Reds in their last few matches.
Crewe followed up with two quickly-taken breakaway goals scored by Jordan Bowery and Chris Dagnall within 90 seconds of each other just after the start of the second half.
He said: "We played sloppy football at times which is not what I want from the players.
"So it's back to the training field, back to the DVDs and we've got to work at it.
"Why we didn't move the ball quickly is something I'll have to debate with the players because we weren't doing this at the beginning of the season; we were playing attacking football.
"It's disappointing but we've got to stick together on this journey. It's tough nights and I think we are getting a lot of tough calls.
"It looked like we lacked intelligence; a side which didn't know what we were doing."
Drummy demanded better midfield play and complained his side did not set out to give the ball away.
He said: "We've got to have midfielders who want the ball all the time; who can turn and go forward and we've got to play fluent football.
"The gameplan wasn't to give the ball away.
"You can set-up tactically against a side but if your minds are not sharp and you don't win the balls, it doesn't matter if you are playing Australia on the Moon. You've got to have a way of playing."