John Coleman hopes the performance in the FA Cup defeat to Crewe was rock-bottom for his side.

Stanley were knocked out of the competition in the first round by the League Two side in a game that will be best remembered for injuries to two separate referees.

Coleman described his side as ‘lifeless’ in defeat, having also not been impressed by their display seven days earlier in a 0-0 draw at 10-man Coventry City.

He explained: “We sat down with the players and went through the first half and I can’t remember us ever playing as poorly, as lifeless, as that.

“There was no energy, we didn’t press, we didn’t pass, and Crewe were better than us. They didn’t have to do much to be better than us, that was the thing, but they were clearly better than us.

“We’d like to think that’s as low as we can go.”

Stanley will look to put their FA Cup woes behind them when they return to League One action against Rotherham United tomorrow.

They had a behind-closed-doors game with Championship side Wigan, managed by former Reds boss Paul Cook, on Wednesday with Coleman keen to re-build any possible lost confidence.

But that will not stop him wanting his side to stop expressing themselves in a bid to find a winning formula.

“We had a bounce game on Wednesday with quite a strong Wigan side, they are in their international break, so they put quite a strong side out against us and it was good to play two teams and get some confidence back,” he added.

“If we can get back to how we can play then I’m sure results will follow.

“You have to be mindful that you don’t lose your identity. I’ve been banging the drum against decision-making and the better players make better decisions.

“We’ve got a style of play, but if you just stick to that and think you’re bound by that then you’re not going to be able to react to certain situations.

“We like to pass the ball but sometimes it has to be kicked in to the stands.

“We like to play, and want to play, and have to be mindful sometimes about not just taking the easy option which is kicking it as far away from your goal.

“If we play like we can then we can break the lines, we can get our flair players on the ball and that’s the idea and I’m sure we’ll get back to doing that.”