Carl Martin has admitted that he was "embarrassed" by Crewe's performance in the 3-1 loss at Aldershot on Saturday.
The defender, 25, told BBC Radio Stoke: "I felt a bit embarrassed after the game. Everybody held their hands up at the end and said it wasn't good enough.
"You can excuse lack of quality and technique but you can't excuse a lack of effort and I think that's what we showed - a lack of effort and desire."
Crewe will look to get back to winning ways at home to Torquay on Saturday.
Martin said he had been impressed with the response of the players in training, but added that the Aldershot defeat gave the team plenty to think about.
"We watched the game again on Tuesday and you could see it again," said the former Wealdstone man. "It was evident that we didn't turn up on the day.
"It's a massive learning curve. Because of the game on Tuesday, where we did well at Cheltenham, worked really hard and deservedly got the points, maybe everybody turned up on the Saturday thinking the same thing was going to happen.
"You have to apply yourself and we didn't apply ourselves mentally on the day.
"The training this week has been excellent. There's been a really good response, we've tried to rectify the mistakes we made and everybody has done really well this week because everybody knows that Saturday wasn't acceptable."
The Alex, who are currently 17th in League Two, have followed each of their previous five losses with a victory in their next game.