Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale praised the impact of captain David Noble after his side's 2-0 loss at Tranmere.
Noble returned to the City line-up after serving a three-match ban for a red card he received at Brentford.
"He was the best player on the pitch by an absolute distance, I just wish I could give him a better team to play with," Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon.
"We need eight or nine players playing at the top of their game for us to turn these draws or losses into wins."
And Tisdale said it was up to other members of his squad to come up to the same level as the better performers in his team.
"There were five or six who were excellent, Troy (Archibald-Henville) and Jon Fortune were superb at the back and David Noble and James Dunne in midfield were a real cornerstone to the side.
"Pat Baldwin did extremely well at left-back for a right-sided centre-half and Lauri Dalla Valle up front is a real competitor.
"There were some terrific performances from those players and we need to get three or four more on the pitch who are competing at the same level.
"There was a lot of effort there, the players are certainly not giving anything less than 100%, it's just a question of whether we're playing well enough," he added.