Crewe Alexandra: Steve Davis left fuming by woeful performance
STEVE Davis slammed his players for an abject performance as play-off chasing Crewe were beaten 3-0 at Hartlepool last night.
The manager suggested the way the Alex have blown hot and cold is the reason his 11th-placed side have it all to do to break into the League One top six.
And he has ordered them to dig out top standard displays on a consistent basis if they are to match his ambitions.
He said: "There were some extremely poor performances.
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"We can't maintain a high level of performance week in, week out. We have these nights and while we have them we will always be a 'nearly' team.
"We have done superbly well this season, but I've said to the players that isn't good enough. I want players to take this club to the next level and those displays aren't going to do that."
Davis warned his players they will not be able to coast through the next month before the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley against Southend United and stay in his plans.
He said: "Whether they've got one eye on Wembley or not I don't know – I wouldn't like to think they had. Maybe some think they are already selected for that game, but we've still got a lot of matches before then.
"I think the team that played at Hartlepool will be a different team to the one picked at Wembley, particularly if they put in performances like that."
Charlie Wyke, Jonathan Franks and Andy Monkhouse condemned Crewe to their biggest league defeat since losing 5-1 at Brentford in August.
Davis's side are now 11 points outside the play-off zone as they prepare for a home match against rock-bottom Portsmouth on Saturday.
Davis said: "Hartlepool were just waiting for us to make mistakes and capitalised on them.
"We passed the ball well in the first 10 minutes, but once they scored we went backwards.
"There wasn't enough effort, there wasn't enough skill and we found it a very difficult night."