Manager Steve Eyre could not hide his disappointment after watching Rochdale lose their final warm-up game 2-1 at Crewe.
Goals from Shaun Miller and Danny Shelley from the penalty spot gave Crewe a 2-0 lead before Paul Marshall fired a late consolation for Dale.
Eyre, who quit as Manchester City's youth-team coach to take on his first job as manager when replacing Keith Hill in June, admitted his side "were not good enough".
He said: "I don't like losing football games. I looked at my watch and it was still three o'clock when they scored and that puts all your plans and preparations to waste.
"It all changed thanks to sloppy football at the start of game and it's certainly something I'm not best pleased about.
"The overall performance was OK, we showed some good intricate play at times and some good rotation. Sadly we just weren't good enough in our own 18-yard box and not half as good in the box we were attacking."