Juande Ramos felt the second goal did the damage as we suffered a 2-1 reverse at Stoke on Sunday.
Stoke grabbed that vital goal when Rory Delap rammed home Mamady Sidibe's cross in the 53rd minute of a bruising encounter at the Britannia Stadium.
The home side were handed an advantage after just 17 minutes when Gareth Bale felled Tom Soares as he was through on goal. Bale was sent off, Danny Higginbotham drilled home from the penalty and we were left with 10 men for the final 70-plus minutes.
However, the 10 men responded by taking the game by the scruff of the neck, dictating play and deservingly equalising when Darren Bent finished well from close range.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis later admitted his side needed half-time and they returned for the second half a different team - Delap scored and Ricardo Fuller missed a penalty before rattling the woodwork in the final seconds.
Vedran Corluka was stretchered off after being clattered by Heurelho Gomes - see update below - and to add insult to injury, we picked up a second straight red of the afternoon when Michael Dawson was sent off for a tackle on Fuller.
Three players went off injured - Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen and defender Ibrahima Sonka alongside Corluka - and that was reflected in 11 minutes of added time.
"It's difficult to explain games like this," reflected Head Coach Juande afterwards. "We had two penalties against us and two men sent off.
"The first was a penalty but perhaps the red card was a little harsh, it should have been a yellow card.
"It was difficult with 10 men but the team played well for the rest of the first half. The team played correctly, we drew level and we created chances
"The second goal for Stoke made it difficult for us but I thought the attitude of the players was very good."
Vedran Corluka was stretchered off in the second half after being knocked out after a collision with Heurelho Gomes. He regained consciousness later, has had head and neck X-rays and everything appears to be okay.