MANAGER Ian O'Reilly held his hands up after his team's 16-game unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday.
Two second-half goals gave Middlewich Town a 2-0 win at the Cumberland Arena but O'Reilly felt he was as much to blame as his players.
'I think I got it wrong tactically and afterwards I told the lads I'd probably got it wrong,' he said. 'We've been playing 4-4-2 while we've been on our run but I went for a 4-3-3 instead because I think we can score goals and I thought we could get at them,' he said.
'You live or die by your decisions but you never stop learning and I've learnt from this.'
Things may so easily have worked out differently had Dave Hanson scored a first-half chance. He combined well with Steve Parker but shot against the post.
In a game of few chances, title-chasing Middlewich made the most of Crewe's poor start to the second period.
'We were still in the changing rooms really. They scored twice in 10 minutes and it was game over,' admitted O'Reilly. 'They might have had a third but missed a penalty after our goalkeeper Steve Harding brought one of their lads down. It was a poor attempt - I think they're still trying to find the ball now!'
Crewe were without striker Barry Murrell and the suspended Liam O'Reilly and struggled to break down a resolute de-fence.
'I thought their back four were excellent. As a whole, they were a bit better than us and we've still got a bit to go,' said O'Reilly. 'They were more experienced and had a bit more know-how, but we will develop that as the players get older.'
Next on the agenda is a visit to league leaders Barnton.
O'Reilly said: 'They've lost their last two games so it would be nice to make it a hat-trick. But on the other hand, they could bounce back and give someone a hiding. It will be another good test for us.'