Justin Holbrook praised debutants Jayden Campbell and Greg Marzhew but rued the lack of polish the Titans showed in their 20-14 loss to competition heavyweights Melbourne Storm.
The Titans were by no means outclassed by the Storm, scoring three tries to Melbourne's four and making the same number of line breaks as the reigning premiers with five.
But failing to complete 12 sets from their 46, and not scoring a point when the Storm were reduced to 12 men through a Reimis Smith sin-binning, underpinned their downfall.
However, 21-year-old Campbell - son of former Dally M winner Preston Campbell - and journeyman Marzhew, who finally made it to the NRL at age 24, did add some brightness to Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Welcome to the NRL, Greg Marzhew!
"I thought he was great. It's not easy to play Melbourne Storm in your first game but he was terrific - a great young player," Holbrook said of Campbell, who displayed the type of footwork his father had as his trademark.
"He understands the game well, JC, and he probably held back a little on what I wanted because I know he's got more to give. That's understandable being his first game - he'll only get better.
"He's a tough kid and when he's carrying the ball back everyone wants to smash him - and there's not much of him - but he doesn't let it happen.
Taylor places a kick for Kelly
"Greg was also great tonight on his debut. He tried as hard as he could so it's just a shame we're not singing the (team) song and celebrating those guys with a win."
The Titans also had a depleted side missing four Origin players but Holbrook is not in the mindset of having to rush them back in so Gold Coast can get back to more consistent form after two wins in the past five weeks.
"We'll just see how they pull up. I was more than happy with the 17 that played tonight," he said. "We were obviously missing our four guys tonight but I thought we did enough to get the win."
And victories is what Holbrook wants at this halfway mark in the season with his team sitting in 11th spot.
"We've got to string some wins together definitely, and we've got to do it fast."
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