Castleford Tigers forward Matt Cook admitted the players let themselves down in their 40-18 defeat to St Helens at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
In the immediate aftermath of the game head coach Daryl Powell criticised the players and Cook took it on the chin.
He said: “He was rightly not happy with that performance.
“After a good win against Leeds at Magic Weekend the real test was to back it up and lay a marker down against the best team in the comp at the moment. But we tossed up a very poor performance and really let ourselves down.
“There is some good effort there at times, but like the boss had said, we’re not being durable enough for the full 80 minutes.
“We’re not playing for the full 80 minutes and that’s where it’s really hurting us at the moment. We just need to pull together as a team, really stick together and work hard.
“We need to work hard at training and try and correct each other’s faults and only hard work and real soul search will help turn it around.
“We’ve got Hull KR away on Friday and that is a really big important game. We need to get back to winning ways and chalking up some wins if we want to be in the top four come the end of the season.”
On the coach’s comments that the Tigers did not have high standards in defence any more, Cook said: “He was right on Thursday, definitely.
“We’ve had to watch that back and it hurts even more. To go from the best defensive team in the comp to maybe second best by the back end of last year to leaking points left, right and centre at the moment.
“Some of them are quote soft for our standards. We need to address it.
“I’ve got confidence in the boys we can. We have to cop it and wear our crash helmets as we deserved a telling off. We have to put our hands up and be accountable both individually and as a team for our defensive performance and then crack on. We can’t dwell, have to work hard and give the fans something to cheer about.
“We have to step-up and respond massively and then the biggest one is that if we do respond it is to do it again. So far this year after a horrible defeat like this - just like round one - we did respond the next game. But it’s then staying tonight again and backing up and backing up again That’s where we’ve not quite done that.”
Cook is expecting a testing game this Friday against an Hull KR side bouncing after beating Wigan.
He added: “It’s Hull. Hull in general live and breathe rugby league.
“It will be a hostile environment Friday. We’ll have to work very hard and be at our best. We’ve just seen what they did to Wigan last week.
“They are a group of lads who work hard for each other. There’s some familiar faces there with Jewitt and Danny Tickle and a few still there from when I was there like Liam Salter.
“They’re a dangerous team on their day as Wigan found out. They’re fighting to make sure they stay in Super League.
“It’s always a hard place to go to is Craven Park. We have to roll sleeves up and make sure we’re on it.”