John Mulvihill was left disappointed at the missed opportunity after his Cardiff Blues side suffered defeat to Glasgow Warriors on Sunday.
The sides were neck and neck heading into the final 10 minutes at Rodney Parade, but Huw Jones' late try secured the victory for the Scottish outfit, as the first block of Guinness PRO14 fixtures comes to an end.
Mulvihill felt his side lacked physicality and intensity in the contest and says they must improve their ball retention
"I just don’t think we brought enough physicality and they out-enthused us tonight," said the head coach.
"You could hear their bench, you could hear them on the field urging themselves on and I think they wanted it more than we did tonight.
"That’s really disappointing because we’ve fronted up every week, but I don’t think we did tonight.
"There were 13 penalties and 16 turnovers so that’s 29 free possessions for the opposition and that will hurt you at some stage.
"We can continually put in 200 tackles a week and that’s what’s killing us.
"We need to be better with the ball, we need to kick on our terms, we need to either find grass long or go to a contest.
"We can’t give teams like Glasgow, who have been struggling a little in the league but do have good players, that amount of freedom to run at us and hurt us.
"It was a tight game but we gave away a penalty in front of the posts to let them take the lead again at 12-10.
"We panicked a little bit, and tried to play a bit too deep and gave up a soft try at the end.
"If we’d got the result tonight, we’d be sitting quite pretty after how we started, despite a lack of player power at the moment.
"But we didn’t so there’s a missed opportunity for us and it could come back to hurt later this season."
Cardiff Blues return to action in two weeks, with Wales' autumn campaign coming to an end next week.
Mulvihill is looking to welcoming back his international contingent as they look for a boost ahead of the Challenge Cup pool stage matches against Newcastle Falcons and Stade Francais.
"If there’s a full bill of health for those boys when they come back, we won’t have to load manage them because a lot of them haven’t had a lot of game-time," added the Australian.
"So I’ll hope that they’ll be bursting to put the blue jersey on when they get back.
"We’ll need them, because we need to change the squad up. We didn’t bring it tonight and we let ourselves down.
"Jim [Botham] and Shane [Lewis-Hughes] will bring back some international form and they’ve played pretty well.
"They’ve learnt the physicality of the international game and it will put them in good stead when they come back into the blue jersey."