Gary Megson tore into Sheffield Wednesday after their promotion challenge was dented with a 2-1 defeat at struggling Exeter.
Jermaine Johnson opened the scoring for Wednesday with a great strike from the edge of the penalty area, but Billy Jones levelled with a superb free-kick and David Noble handed Exeter the win with another stunning free-kick with six minutes remaining.
"I didn't think we were like ourselves, the only threat we looked like we had got was JJ. It was a fantastic strike and he looked a threat," Megson said.
"A lot of our players at the moment are not playing in the right manner. I watch and respond to what I see and you will have to ask them why. There is a lack of energy from one or two. There have been times when we have lost games, but not like that.
"That was a really important result for us and we have got a few that think they're a lot better than they are and have got to start shaking themselves. I don't mean everybody, but when we played against Yeovil last week we got away with it.
"They know exactly what is expected. We work to certain things, the first and foremost is hard work and playing with a bit of enthusiasm and playing like your life depends on it. But that is more than disappointment."