Huddersfield captain Kevin Brown spoke of his embarrassment over his side's 38-34 defeat by Salford but both he and coach Nathan Brown denied the announcement of his shock move to Widnes played a part.
Brown stunned the Giants on the eve of Sunday's game at the Magic Weekend by revealing he is to quit the club with two years left on his contract to join the Stobart Super League basement outfit on a four-year deal from 2013.
The former Wigan stand-off was among the try-scorers but Salford had the final say in a pulsating contest at the Etihad Stadium, where the lead changed hands six times before Huddersfield were condemned to a third consecutive defeat.
"The boys knew I was leaving, it was a matter of which club," Brown said. "I told them and they were really supportive.
"It's not the reason we didn't perform today. We've got to look away from excuses and look at ourselves more. There were some embarrassing efforts today."
The 27-year-old Brown, who joined Huddersfield from Wigan in 2006, said the reason for his move was personal and admitted he spoke to his old club about a return to the DW Stadium before being won over by the ambitious plans of Widnes owner Steve O'Connor.
"The main reason is family," he said. "My nan had cancer last year and I've just had a kid and realised how important family are.
"This opportunity came up and I couldn't turn it down. I spoke to the board at the start of the year and told them I was missing the family.
"At first I was going to move back and travel to Huddersfield but a couple of clubs came in.
"Wigan was an option. I spoke to them but I'm more than happy with the choice I've made.
"I know what the coach is all about. I've worked with Denis Betts before and he's a fantastic coach. Obviously at the moment, they're struggling on the field.
"But I met Steve O'Connor and he's one of the main reasons I'm going there. People are asking 'Why Widnes?' but I know the ambition they've got. Their plans for the next three years are very exciting."Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown, who will also be leaving the club at the end of the season when he joins St Helens, admits his side are out of form but does not believe the news of his captain's departure had an unsettling effect.
"It's been spoken about for a while," he said. "I suppose these are things you'd rather not happen but they happen and you've just got to get on with it.
"This has been ongoing - it wasn't just out of the blue this week. Kevin's done a deal at Widnes and will be there next year and it's important we get on with life and play well for the rest of this year.
"We scored enough points to win today but our right edge had a very, very unhappy day.
"We've had a couple of unhappy days lately so we need to work hard, pick them up and obviously as individuals and as a group climb our way back out of it and get ourselves playing well."
Huddersfield thought they had won the game when prop Eorl Crabtree scored two tries in a three-minute spell in the second half but his opposite number Adam Sidlow repeated the feat to swing the game Salford's way.
"The chairman keeps telling me that he's the only forward who can score a try," said Reds coach Phil Veivers. "He scored a couple of nice ones today."
In a team full of heroes, Salford were particularly indebted to veteran full-back Luke Patten, whose attacking flair proved to be a constant thorn in Huddersfield's side all afternoon, and two-try centre Joel Moon.
Veivers could not hide his delight at a first win in four games which keeps alive his side's outside play-off hopes.
"I did a bit of jumping around towards the death," he said. "It was a good result for us - massive in our season.
"We spoke about it in the week. We haven't been far off in a lot of results this year. We've been really close and competing with the best of them.
"We just didn't know how to win a game. I thought today, even though we went behind with five minutes to go, I still had the belief that they were patient enough to get the result and we did in the end.
"There was a lot of points scored so it wasn't a defensive game from both sets but I wasn't really bothered how we got the win, we just needed to get the win."