Shaun Wane was left feeling “very angry” after Wigan tumbled to a shock 8-6 home defeat by Widnes.
The Warriors had a chance to move level on points with leaders Hull FC, ahead of their trip to St Helens.
But their attack coughed and spluttered through the majority of the match. Liam Farrell scored their only try in the 50th minute, having gone behind to a Corey Thompson double in the opening half.
Wane said: “We lacked composure and our game-management was off in the final third, which was disappointing.
“I’m very angry.”
Ryan Sutton went close to scoring a match-winning try - only to spill under a Stefan Marsh tackle - and Wigan had a chance to level the scores with a late penalty, but elected to run the play.
“We had a discussion (whether to kick the penalty), but if we’d scored a try, it’s the best decision,” said Wane.
“As soon as we played as we planned, we scored through Liam Farrell - we just didn’t do it often enough. Our ends of sets were poor. They were very smart in contact.”
Wigan had a landslide penalty count in their favour and Widnes had two players sinbinned.
“They came with a way to play, and fair play to them,” said Wane. “Hats off to them, they have nothing to play for and we had everything.”
The defeat was a body blow to Wigan’s hopes of winning the league leaders’ shield, though their next two matches are on the road at Hull FC and Warrington, before they round off their campaign back at the DW against Catalans.
Wane brought his press conference to an abrupt finish when a local radio reporter asked him if he was feeling under pressure.
He replied: “I don’t know what you mean. If we win tonight, we’8re top of the league... we’ve got six players out.
“There’s no other club where that question would be asked. I’ll see you.”
Halfback Matty Smith - set for a move to St Helens - missed the match due to a virus but is expected to return next week. Wane may also be able to recall Tony Clubb from a three-month lay-off with a neck injury.
This was Widnes’ second win at the DW Stadium this year, and coach Denis Betts - the Wigan legend - said: “That was character in action.
“Someone makes an error, there’s no back-biting, we get on with it.
“There haven’t been lots of pretty games in the Super 8s, but what you saw was players fighting for each other.”
The Edwards-Johnson Memorial Trophy was last night presented to Tom Davies as Under-19s player of the year.
The award is named in honour of former academy players Billy-Joe Edwards and Craig Johnson, who died in a car crash in 2003.
Macauley Davies, Callum Field, Jack Wells, Liam Marshall, Josh Ganson, Kyle Shelford and Tom Davies last night signed full-time contracts to join Wigan’s senior squad for 2017.
Davies, Wells and Shelford made their first-team debuts this season.
And 12 scholarship players penned academy contracts including Jake Sculthorpe, son of St Helens and Great Britain legend Paul. The others were: Adam Ford, James McDonnell, Joe Shorrocks, Callum Green, Nathaniel Marshall, Harry Smith, Joe Turton, Nathan Wilde, Oscar Hansen, Jacob Corcoran and Aiden Roden. Hansen is the son of ex-Warriors prop Lee.