Danny Wilson admits next Friday's Guinness PRO12 clash with Benetton Treviso has taken on a heightened magnitude following a derby defeat to the Scarlets.
Cardiff Blues were second best to their rivals from west Wales who claimed a bonus-point win at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
The Blues were without nine Wales internationals and were on the wrong end of a number of refereeing decisions.
It was their third consecutive defeat in the Championship following a flying start and they will now face a fully loaded Treviso outfit in Italy.
Wilson said: “Next week we go to Treviso, Italy don’t have an international so I imagine they will be full strength and it will be a big challenge.
“It’s a big game. We need to improve our performance certainty defensively – we leaked too much too early – and we need to look at converting pressure into points.
“The second-half was all us. With all that pressure, 20 penalties, we have to put more points on the board.
“It’s a difficult period for everyone to manage, you are losing a lot of players – we’ve lost nine to the squad – but at the same time so have the Scarlets and everybody else.
“It’s about looking at the rest of the squad, your depth and in certain positions I was pleased with a couple of youngsters coming off the bench.
“We had young Shane Lewis-Hughes, who is 19 coming off the bench for his debut, Seb Davies making his second appearance and young Jarrod coming on at 10.
“These are Under-20s boys from last year, it’s great experience for them and in the long haul that will do us good but ultimately it’s a period that has challenges.”
Wilson felt the Blues were unfortunate not to receive a penalty try in the closing stages of the first-half.
Had it been awarded they would have gone into the interval in a healthier position than 21-7.
But instead they conceded another try straight after the restart and left themselves too much to do.
“We came second today, credit to the Scarlets they deserved their win. There were plenty of talking points, plenty of match affecting talking points but I’m not going to take away from the Scarlets. They got their win, they deserved their win and credit to them.
“I need to go back and have a look at that period but we’ve had four penalties for our dominant scrum then we get yellow carded, which I don’t understand, and we don’t get a penalty try. There were four penalties and a free kick.
“We had scrum dominance all night, you hope to come away with seven points, we didn’t get it
“It was a big turning point in the game but we conceded too many tries. We were 14-0 down off the back of 10 minutes. We have to look at that first.
“I’m certainly not blaming a referee, we didn’t do enough with the pressure we had. In the second-half we had a huge amount of pressure but didn’t come away with enough points.”