Juande Ramos felt the first goal was key as we slipped to a 2-1 defeat in our Barcays Premier League opener at Middlesbrough.
It could have been so different as Brad Jones made a key save from Jermaine Jenas minutes before David Wheater put the home side ahead, slamming home the rebound after Heurelho Gomes tipped Afonso Alves' volley onto the crossbar.
The home side doubled their lead with nine minutes left when former Spur Mido diverted home Didier Digard's shot.
An own goal as Robert Huth glanced David Bentley's free-kick past Jones with seconds left in injury time proved nothing more than a consolation.
Head Coach Juande reflected: "I think it was a very even game, a close run thing and it was the sort of game that which ever side scored the first goal it was going to be decisive.
"Middlesbrough were fortunate enough to get that first goal and it made things difficult for us once they went ahead.
"It was one of those early season typical kind of games where both sides, in particular ourselves, were trying to find a rhythm and players were trying to get into their games.
"We had one or two half-chances where we might have been able to go ahead in the game but like I have said it was not the case and I think we tried hard for a victory but it just did not happen.
"Our form wasn't absolutely ideal but I think in general we are going in the right direction."