Widnes coach Denis Betts couldn’t fault his sides effort in their defeat to Wigan, but insisted that they need to learn how to see games out.
The Vikings gave away a 14-point lead as the Warriors pulled off a fine comeback to win 32-24 at the Halton Stadium on Thursday night.
Widnes led 18-4 at the break but then struggled to contain Wigan, who scored three tries in five second half minutes.
And Betts insists Widnes need to be smarter when seeing games out.
He said: “It’s tough to be the best side for 70 minutes of the game and lose.
“It looks like we convincingly lost towards the end when we were trying to force the ball. We started the second half poorly. Wigan got a repeat set from us and we ended up defending for 10 minutes on our line because we kept knocking the ball down.
“We were dumb in patches. At 20-all, we did a couple of stupid things. Being proud is not the issue, we were very dumb at times and that is the most frustrating thing about it. We worked our socks off, but we were just sloppy at certain points in the game and that hurt us.
“When games have been tight, it has just been some dumbness about us that has let us down. Effort is not an issue, we are working hard, but we need to win games. We can’t work that hard and keep feeling that it’s okay.”
Next up for the Vikings is a trip to the John Smith’s Stadium to face fellow Super League strugglers Huddersfield Giants next Friday.
And Betts wants his team to take their frustration into next week’s crucial clash.
He said: “I want the players to feel sorry for themselves and I want them to feel bad.
“The lads will pull together over the next couple of days and we will focus on our next game which is Huddersfield away.
“It was a massive game for us (against Wigan), because we need supporters to keep coming. We need them to understand that challenges in this group isn’t about effort or enthusiasm, it’s about our strength in the squad and holding our nerve. Every game is a big game for us now.”
Betts revealed he is hoping to have Aaron Heremaia, Joe Mellor and Charly Runciman back next week.