Penrith beat Parramatta 12-6 in a tight encounter yesterday.

It was a much-improved performance from the Eels, but their search for their first win in 2018 continues.

"I think in times likes this when you're a bit nervous at the start of games, 'do we make the pass, don't we, do we offload the footy, don't we' - [we just need to] relax a little bit and make those plays and back ourselves a touch more," Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said.

"It's easier said than done when you're chasing victory and the last thing you want to do is turn the ball over so I can understand where the players are at. We've got to chase it a bit more and back ourselves a bit more.

"I'm not going to be critical of that part of it. They chance their hand and we turn the ball over and we're none from five, with completion... when you're confident and put those plays on they stick. It will turn but it's getting pretty desperate now.

"It's a confidence thing, we talked about it during the week because at the back end of the game last week when we had nothing to lose we played our football. Moving forward, you need to make sure you're confident in your defence and defensive attitude to be able to do that as well."

Arthur was pleased with his side's attitude and committment, despite the defeat.

"It's a bit annoying it hasn't been there for four weeks but we need to take that and move forward with that," he admitted.

"We can't have any less than that if we want to dig ourselves out of this hole. At some stage the bounce of the ball or an opportunity – we probably bombed two or three opportunities – they'll stick as long as we keep staying in the fight.

"If we don't stay in the fight those opportunities won't come. To Penrith's credit they turned up and defended really well. They wanted it just as bad. I'm sure there were a couple of opportunities we needed to take in the first half."