Crewe manager Gudjon Thordarson did not hold back with criticism of his players after Friday's 4-3 defeat at Stockport.
The Alex now have just a single game remaining next weekend - at home to League One champions Leicester - and remain rooted in League One's drop-zone.
"I'm afraid that my final assessment is that we played against ourselves," Thordarson said.
"We conceded too many soft goals, and if you defend like that you just can't win games. We need to be better than that," he added.
"Sometimes frustration creeps in and it did again, and all the goals we conceded were very poor.
"It was absolutely shocking. The players need to show more desire and more guts, everybody is very disappointed down there.
"We have got some decent players, and we did score three goals, but when you think about all the chances we missed then that was shocking."
There were seven goals in the breathtaking clash at Edgeley Park, and three times the woodwork was struck.
Jamie Vincent, Chris O'Grady and Oli Johnson (2) bagged the all-important strikes for Stockport, while Billy Jones, Dennis Lawrence and sub Scott McManus replied for the visitors.
McManus's stoppage-time strike from 30 yards proved to be too little, too late for Crewe.
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