Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis admits he has failed to get the best out of his players this season following their relegation from League One.
The Alex's return to League Two after a four-year absence was sealed with five games of the season still to go.
"It's important to get everything you can out of the players - every last inch of sweat and blood, as they say," the 50-year-old told BBC Radio Stoke.
"I don't think I've been able to do that sometimes."
Davis, who is not expected to lose his job at Gresty Road despite relegation, continued: "Sometimes they've given me great hope, but other times they haven't lived up to what they've achieved before - but it's up to any manager to motivate them.
"You almost become a teacher and sometimes you have a bad day at school - too often we've had bad days at school."
Looking ahead to life back in League Two, Davis is keen to improve his knowledge of his squad's mental strengths and weaknesses.
"I need to get into their minds a bit more and find out more about the psychological side and what makes them tick and learn," he added.
"I think I know outwardly what they're capable of, but inwardly, especially with younger players, they can be a bit introverted and it's very hard to get things through and get a response."
Crewe travel to Oldham on Saturday before finishing their season with a home game against Doncaster Rovers and a trip to Fleetwood Town.