Salford head coach Paul Rowley admitted his side’s 32-6 defeat to Wakefield Trinity in Super League was the side’s worst performance under his leadership.
Rowley, 48, has been in charge of the club since 2022.
The Red Devils went into the Super League Round 17 clash at Belle Vue without spine players Ryan Brierley, Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers in their 17, while Ben Hellewell made his 250th career appearance.
Wakefield, desperate for only their second win of the season, started the game strongly with Liam Kay opening the scoring inside the first three minutes.
He would later be joined on the scoreboard by team-mates Will Dagger and the returning Reece Lyne for a 22-0 lead at the break.
Lee Kershaw grabbed the side’s only try of the second 40, with Dagger converting all tries and kicking an extra four penalties in the victory.
Salford’s only points came through forward Alex Gerrard just beyond the hour mark, converted by Marc Sneyd.
Paul Rowley: “I’m disappointed.”
“We knew that it would be do-or-die for Wakefield,” Rowley said.
“They’re used to this sort of jeopardy, cliff-edge sort of moment. We expected that, and so it was important we had a lot of enthusiasm and energy. So we got out-enthused, they did the basics better than us.
“It’s probably the worst performance since I’ve been in charge.
“It’s tough after a short turnaround from Wigan, but I don’t want to take away from a team that was desperate and played fantastically well.
“We had enough players out there to do a job, I’m disappointed.”
Salford have now lost their last three games and have dropped to sixth on the Super League table in the final play-off spot, two points ahead of Hull KR.
“We back ourselves every week,” Rowley said.
“We don’t like losing, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s important we’re a good team, we will get stronger.
“We have to hold our nerve. We definitely won’t waver in our beliefs.”