Adrian Lam says Wigan Warriors' loss at Salford "unfolded like a nightmare"
The Warriors led 14-2 at half-time but faded as they allowed the hosts to score 16 unanswered points and snatch an 18-14 victory.
It was little comfort for the Wigan fans that on a day when more sports fans may have been watching - with other fixtures wiped out because of the coronavirus crisis - it provided a thrilling finish to a game which appeared over at the break.
Lam's side remain two points clear at the top of the ladder but that was little comfort for the coach.
He said: "The first-half was some of the best rugby we've played this year.
"I'm a bit confused about the performance. I guess when we'd earned that right, we could have played a bit more, and we didn't.
"We took our foot off the accelerator and let them back into the game and it just unfolded like a nightmare. The players are disappointed - we could have strangled them in certain situations."
Lam said Jake Bibby suffered an eye injury but hoped it wouldn't sideline him for a spell, while Zak Hardaker wasn't risked because of a hamstring strain.
"We had some honest words at half-time. The way we'd practiced to play against Wigan, we didn't do.
"We did a bit of extra in training focusing on Jacko and Bevan French, they're important players for them.
"Dan Sarginson was great, and then his tackle on Bevan late on won us the game."