Luka Modric has hit out at Tottenham’s slow start against Stoke on Monday, pointing to the two sloppy goals they conceded in the first-half as the main reason their 11 game unbeaten run came to an end.
Matthew Etherington pounced twice on loose balls in the Tottenham area after Stoke’s set pieces wreaked havoc in the fist 45 minutes to leave Spurs chasing a two goal deficit, before a tactical tweak from boss Harry Redknapp prompted a revival in the second period.
Modric won a penalty for his side which Emmanuel Adebayor converted before a combination of spurned chances and controversial refereeing decisions meant Tottenham lost in the Premier League for the first time since their 5-1 defeat against Manchester City at White Hart Lane in September.
"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.
"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." he added.
Tottenham have the chance to get back to winning ways when they go up against Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League on Thursday before playing hosts to Sunderland over the weekend, with a crucial showdown with Chelsea looming just three days before Christmas.
With Tottenham's form so far prompting suggestions they can challenge for the title this season, Modric believes they can put right the wrongs of Sunday's defeat at the Britannia Stadium starting with a victory in Ireland, but only if his team-mates heeded the warnings on display against Stoke.
"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."