Denis Betts believes his side were caught out in the opening 40 minutes of their defeat to Leeds Rhinos.
Widnes went into the sheds 30-6 down at the break, leaving them facing their latest defeat.
Super League’s bottom club restored some pride in the second-half, and Betts revealed what he told his players.
“At half-time we spoke about treating it like someone taking something from us in the street and then chasing after them and trying to get as much as we can back.
“We got ambushed at the start and we intended to start quickly ourselves. But we were only competing at 60% and got behind in the penalty count and then we just got caught in a whirlwind of incomplete sets and injuries.
“We’re down on troops and it’s a tough time at the moment. We’d like to take credit for the second half – they ran out of steam a little bit too.”