Daryl Powell said he was “proud” of his players despite seeing Castleford Tigers suffer defeat at Warrington.
The Tigers head coach knew the odds were stacked against his team, which had eight senior players missing, but was pleased with the way they dug in.
He said: “I was proud of the players.
“We’d need to improve in a few areas, but we were playing against a team who pretty much had everybody out there.
“You are never pleased at losing a game, but I think in terms of what I’ve seen I’m closer to knowing exactly what we’ve got.
“It was probably not the best game we’ve played, but in terms of spirit and commitment it was right up there.
“It was a tough game and we just fell a little bit short.”
“There was a fair bit of steel about us.
Powell pinpointed areas where the game was lost by the Tigers.
He explained: “The opportunities we had in good attacking positions were put down on tackles one, two or three at times, which didn’t allow us to put enough pressure on.
“And our right edge wasn’t good enough defensively. they’ve got to pick some things up there.
“We were down on troops a little bit, but we thought we had a team out there we thought could win the game – and we started really well.
“They bring Murdoch-Masila off the bench and our bench is one middle man, a back-rower, a young hooker – who did a great job I thought – and an outside back.
“We’ve got a couple of young boys who both did good jobs, but we’re struggling for big men in the middle so we had Wattsy having to do massive minutes.”
Powell said he hoped to get some troops back for next week’s game against Salford.
He added: “In the next month we’ll start to see some players back.
“I think Oli Holmes will be available next week and we’ll take it from there. Maybe Mike McMeeken next month and Adam Milner next week, fingers crossed.”