Marco Silva was disappointed his Watford side gave Stoke a head start yesterday afternoon, believing the Hornets allowed the Potters to execute their game-plan by playing so tentatively during the first 45 minutes.
The Head Coach felt the Hornets were not brimming and bristling with the same energy and intensity that has characterised wins over Bournemouth, Southampton, Swansea and Arsenal, and that they gave themselves a mountain to climb against a Stoke side who got them in a headlock after getting their noses in front.
"I think we didn't play well in the first-half," said Silva.
"We gave our opponents the advantage for 45 minutes, we gave them a big lift in the goal we conceded. We made a mistake, we gave them a gift. We lost our focus in that moment and they scored a good goal.
"Everything was too slow and we knew they would come here with 10 men behind the ball and wait for our mistake. We needed to play faster and with more intensity."
The team were much more like the Watford we have got to know and love under Silva in the second-half, and they gave Stoke a real searching examination of their defensive mettle, throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors in a rousing second-half.
"The second-half was different," he said.
"It was more the image of our team. We had more intensity in our game but it was really difficult as they put nine, 10 men behind the ball and sometimes in the box.
"We had two or three chances to score, but if we score the first goal everything is different.
"I believe if we played in the first-half how we did in the second-half, then the result would have been different."
See more post-match reaction from Silva in the video above - free to view.