Our midfielder says that the pre-match build-up centred on that reputation and the team were distracted from playing their normal game.
"I think that because of all the talk about Uruguay being a hard team, making too many bad tackles and all that sort of thing going around, probably the staff were talking too much about that before the game," reasoned Gus.
"Especially in key moments in the game, when I wanted to know that the Uruguayan 'character' was there - I didn't see it and I was a little bit disappointed with that."
So were Uruguay treading too carefully to avoid the wrath of the referee?
"That is the problem. There was only one yellow card for a push. It was a booking, no question about that. But it didn't seem to be a team that really represented Uruguay.
"Probably because of all the talk. In all the previews people were saying 'be careful of Uruguay', it was probably too much because we can play football.
"In this case it is clear that they were trying to be a little careful. It didn't help, especially when we were 2-1 down - I expected them to show something different."
Gus was impressed with the stunning leveller from Rodriguez, but insists he is not the only one capable of such strikes.
"It was a very good goal. It was something that any player from Uruguay can do, the problem is to maintain it for the rest of the game.
"I knew what to expect from Denmark, quick people on the two flanks, running and crossing. So if you are not marking in the box, sooner or later they are going to have a chance."
Champions France are next up for Uruguay in Group A and Gus hints that it is his country that will go in with the feeling of nothing to lose.
"The chance now that we've lost is that they have to win as well. Maybe it will be an open game - in an open game we can do everything. Nothing to lose really."
Gus Poyet feels that Uruguay's attempts to shed their label as a uncompromising team worked against them in their opener against Denmark.