DARIO Gradi has rejected the chance to bring Dennis Lawrence back to solve Crewe's defensive problems.
Giant centre-half Lawrence, who had a loan spell at Crewe last season, is a free agent after returning to Trinidad and Tobago following his release by Swansea.
But Gradi says he won't sign the 35-year-old former Wrexham defender because of his international commitments.
"Dennis Lawrence would come back, but he wants to play for Trinidad and Tobago, so there is no point having him here if he's only going to play half the games," said Gradi.
"He'd also have to play in a three at the back if he did, and we're not at that level.
"His agent has been on the phone. It didn't take long to discuss that one.
"But I think if I can get someone I will. We'll look at that possibility.
"In the meantime, I'll continue to work with what I've got because they're certainly not beyond hope."
To deepen the gloom, Crewe lost right-back John Brayford to a shoulder injury shortly after the re-start, but by that stage they were already 2-0 down after goals from Jim Bentley and Phil Jevons.
Steve Schumacher was drafted on as his substitute and reduced the arrears with 12 minutes left – and Gradi admits he may have made a mistake with his starting line-up.
"Steve scored a good goal to bring us back into it.
"He's got a good record of scoring goals from midfield and maybe I should have played him from the start," said Gradi.