Warriors coach Nathan Brown labelled his team's attack "horrible" after Friday night's 13-12 loss to the Sea Eagles but was heartened by their defensive starch.
The New Zealand club had plenty of chances to ice the game in the last 20 minutes but failed. Halfback Sean O'Sullivan's field goal attempt went wide before his Manly counterpart Daly Cherry-Evans succeeded with his shot in the dying seconds.
"Daly rarely misses them when he gets the opportunity. The game probably shouldn't have got to that stage though," Brown, who coached his 250th NRL game, said at Central Coast Stadium.
"I thought our effort was first-class defensively. They got two tries from kicks out of their two tries, so we obviously worked really hard when we didn't have the ball.
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"With the ball, we were just horrible. We just didn’t get anywhere near where we needed to get to. Roger [Tuivasa-Sheck] has obviously been doing some good stuff for us; it didn’t help Roger get in the right positions because we just got all our attack wrong."
Brown highlighted his "players in key positions" for failing to direct the side effectively.
"We had a perfect opportunity to get ourselves in a position to kick a field goal and we did some things that when the boys have a look at it they won't like what they see," he added.
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There was no doubt the Warriors missed the go-forward of injured prop Addin Fonua-Blake but they'll need to manage without him for "a long time", according to Brown.
A club statement said Fonua-Blake, who was hurt in last week's defeat to the Roosters, is set for surgery early next week to repair the extensor mechanism in his left knee and could be sidelined for four months or more.
"If Addin did play tonight, it wouldn't have changed the way we went about our offence," Brown said.
"We started off reasonably well but we really let ourselves down there."
Brown was comfortable with his team's decision to opt for a tap restart instead of trying to add two points with a penalty goal in the first half despite the final scoreline.
"I was confident if we executed our plays we could find the line," he said.
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