Andy Kelly watched Huddersfield Giants’ hopes of making the the last four of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup disappear at the expense of former club Walefield Trinity.
A 28-16 defeat in front of the Sky Sports cameras at the John Smith’s Stadium means preserving Super League status is now Huddersfield’s sole focus.
The Giants have now suffered three defeats in a season by the club Kelly both played for and coached.
He has now won one and lost once since taking over as caretaker after the sacking of Paul Anderson.
There was a further blow for the Giants, too, as Joe Wardle went out of the game suffering a knee injury which will probably require a scan.
And Sam Rapira suffered an arm injury which could well keep him out of next week’s Super League clash with Hull FC.
Last night’s match was watched by a crowd of 3,289 as Wakefield went within one match of Wembley.
Kelly said: “We made a really disappointing start and left ourselves with a mountain to climb.
“We were second best for too long and paid the price.
“We have to be smarter about the way we go about things and, when we started to try and get back into it, we were playing more as individuals than as a team.
“For those first 15 to 20 minutes we just weren’t there and that dictated the result.”
He added: “It’s an important few weeks coming up. We have some big league games and I think the club need to act fast to get the right man in (a new coach).”