Luka Modric has stated Tottenham's 'sloppy' first-half performance led to Sunday's 2-1 loss at Stoke, as Spurs' 11-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League came to an end.
Former Tottenham midfielder Matthew Etherington scored two goals for the hosts in the opening 45 minutes. "We lost in the first half," Modric told the club's official website.
"We started sloppy, every corner kick and every throw-in was a problem for us. We couldn't deal with them and they scored two goals."
Harry Redknapp introduced Jermain Defoe and Sebastien Bassong at half-time, as Spurs gave a much-improved second-half performance, but were unable to reduce the deficit, with Modric raising questions over referee Chris Foy's decision making.
"After half-time we changed a bit tactically and we played much better. We created so many chances. I think the disallowed goal was a goal, and we fought hard, we tried hard to come back and tried to win the game, or at least to draw, but we didn't make it.
"We need to be happy with how we played in the second half. We just can't allow ourselves to play so badly in the first half. It's costly," reckoned Modric.