Luka Modric pinned Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Stoke on our first-half display.
The midfielder admitted we were ‘sloppy’ in the first period as we suffered our first defeat in 12 in the Premier League.
Stoke served notice in the first minute when the first of Ryan Shotton’s long throws caused havoc, Brad Friedel saving superbly from Matthew Etherington.
Former Spur Etherington opened the scoring in the 13th minute and left us with a mountain to climb with his second, from another Shotton throw, two minutes before half-time.
Harry Redknapp changed formation for the second half, played with three centre-backs, Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker in wing-back roles and Rafa van der Vaart played off Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor.
With Luka pulling the strings, Ade pulled a goal back from the penalty spot on the hour and we dominated. But try as we might, we couldn’t find a second goal.
“We lost in the first half,” said Luka. “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.
“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 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.
“Every run comes to an end but we didn't deserve to lose.”