Phil Brown called for consistency after his side failed to break down a stubborn Crewe side at Gresty Road on Tuesday night.
Brown saw his side slump to a 1-0 defeat away as they failed to score in for the second time in two matches – although, Saturday’s game was their first time they hadn’t hit the back of the net all season.
Charlie Kirk’s first-half effort went in off of Joe Romanski via the post to deliver all three points for the hosts.
Crewe’s first league victory in a month left a sour taste for Brown, who was surprised by Town’s lacklustre performance.
“When they got their noses in front I didn’t think it would be the end of the game,” explained the manager. “But it appeared to be.
“We didn’t start the game as well as I thought we would, they came out the traps fairly quickly.
“The final third caused me concern - one or two of the players seem to be freezing in the final 20 metres of the pitch. The clear-cut chances are not falling to us, we’re getting anxious in that area.
“It’s players that make decisions in the final third and it’s up to them to relax and make a pass or work the goalkeeper when they’re shooting - that’s what we’re missing at the moment.
“I can say we need to put it right on the training ground but bottom line is when you cross the white line you’ve got to be able to control yourself in circumstances.
“I don’t believe in turning up one day and then not the next, that includes training sessions and matches.
“Consistent teams in this division will get promoted and win titles, at this moment in time we’re not that. We’ve got to try and find consistency and get the strongest team out there.”
One of Brown’s substitutes on the night, Ellis Iandolo, almost rescued a point in Cheshire but his low drilled strike cannoned off the post.
The woodwork didn’t stop Elijah Adebayo’s effort, but the referee’s whistle did, as the attacker was accused of handball in the build-up.
“The handball was very harsh on Adebayo,” admitted Brown.
“Also, when Jermaine McGlashan plays one around the corner and the defender handles the ball- but you’re asking the referee to have eyes in the back of his head really.
“I’m not going to be moaning about referees, we just weren’t good enough and that’s the part that concerns me.
“Consistency is brought about by selection, winning games and training properly.
“They have to get a level of consistency from game to game, and that comes from the mentality of the group."
Brown will hope for an improved performance on Saturday for the visit of Northampton Town to the County Ground.