NATHAN Brown said not enough of his Saints men produced sufficient standards of performance to get a win at Hull on Friday night.
He felt the forwards did not lay the kind of foundation they have done in recent times, making it difficult for the new half-back combination of Jordan Turner and Gary Wheeler to be influential.
The St Helens boss pointed to the kicking game not being up to scratch, an area among many where the missing trio of Luke Walsh, Lance Hohaia and Jon Wilkin could have assisted against an improving team that nevertheless sat third from bottom before kick off with no home win to boast of since April.
Brown said: "There's numbers of things that we didn't do so well.
"I thought Hull's middle men were far better than ours, and with our changes of halves with the new people we've got there, it helped them make life easy.
"We needed our forwards to do a little better. I didn't think we were as good today as what we've been for the past five or six weeks through the middle."
He said you always have to give credit to the opposition for what they throw at you, but added: "They've got plenty of good forwards but I'd like to think we could have done a little better.
"I thought they rolled down the field very easily. We probably helped them a little bit with out kicking not being as good as I would like."
Saints did have their moments, and looked strong at the start of each half.
Brown said: "Every time we did do one or two good things we'd compound it with a bad one.
"We did get a little bit of flow, start to look okay, then we did something that wasn't so good."
And he spotted signs that told him some players were not at the top of their game.
"Richard Horne's been throwing dummies and slicing through for years and so his two line breaks summed up our middle area I thought," said Brown.
"When you're beating Hull over the years and when Richard Horne's throwing dummies and you tackle him, your middle area is right on its game.
"But he went through twice and had a good game. Any time that's happening, regardless of who you're playing against and regardless of who your personnel are, and when you've got halves like Aaron Heremaia standing in tackles with big blokes on top of him but still offloading, I just thought we were a little bit off in that part of the field.
"And that compounded with people playing in new positions."
He added: "We need to have 17 players who are contributing positively. We had a fair few players who weren't 7/10 (seven out of 10). Anytime you're not getting a lot of 7/10 you always risk losing."