Eels co-captain Tim Mannah takes a hit-up during a shattering loss to Manly on Sunday. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos
A huge improvement from Round 2's 56-4 thrashing by the Roosters is no consolation for a gutted Parramatta coach Brad Arthur, who insists close enough is not good enough for the 2014 Eels outfit.

"No," Arthur replied bluntly, when asked after the side's heartbreaking last minute 22-18 loss to Manly at Brookvale whether he took some consolation from an improved defensive showing.

"We tried hard, but we need to be better if we want to win games of footy," he said.

"To get close enough is not good enough, we've got to find a way to win."

He described the loss as "heartbreaking" for players and fans.

"But at the end of the day we've got to pick ourselves up and have a look at why it happened and what we can do to get better and make sure it doesn't happen again. We've got to move forward," he said.

However Arthur was prepared to credit the improved effort by the players, after shaking the hand of every player as they left the field.

"I stood there because the effort was great and they tried their backsides off and I'm in it with them all the way. But we need to execute and do a few things better, we had more line breaks, we've got to find a way to win," he said.

Eels prop Tim Mannah was similarly downcast after the "gut-wrenching" loss, insisting the side was not around to make up the numbers.

"We don't want to come to games hoping to be close enough to a good team, we want to be winning games and we almost had it. We weren't good enough to hold them out and we have to be better next week," he said.

Neither Arthur nor Mannah was prepared to blame the lopsided 10-4 penalty count for the loss, or the crucial decision to overturn a goal line dropout call against Manly after Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans stayed down after a tackle, resulting in the video referee awarding the home side a penalty for a high tackle by Eels winger Semi Radradra - who was then placed on report. Manly scored the match-winner at the end of the ensuing set.

"I'll have to go back and have a look at the tape but I know it was 10-4. It made it hard for us, I thought we did reasonably well defensively to turn them away there for a while," Arthur said.

Mannah said the Eels had to blame themselves rather than the referees.

"There were a lot of things we could have done better, we didn't help ourselves out with a lot of the errors we made, there were some things that were frustrating out there," he said.

"That's just footy and you've got to deal with the cards you're dealt."

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