Bristol City manager Lee Johnson admitted that he was hurting after watching his side go down 1-0 to Stoke City at Ashton Gate.
The Robins didn’t get going during a disappointing first 45 minutes in which Stoke City midfielder Darren Fletcher netted the only goal of the match.
The home side were much better in the second half but found visiting keeper Jack Butland in inspired form as their recent two-match winning run was ended.
Speaking to The72 in the post-match press conference, Johnson admitted that the defeat left him feeling somewhat deflated.
“We couldn’t get the ball over the line” said Johnson. “I don’t know what it was whether it was physical fear, technique or just execution.
“I’m clearly emotional at the moment and frustrated because as excellent as we were in the second half, the first half we took too long to get going, to press, to get the ball forward and to be aggressive.”
Despite failing to perform in the first half, Bristol City were hugely unfortunate not to at least come away with a point in the second half and Johnson believes that the visitors will have been relieved to win the match.
The Robins boss added “In the second half, we saw Bristol City’s personality.
“It was short, sharp precise passing, getting talented footballers into pockets and being dangerous and dynamic in our delivery and our passing.
“If I was Gary Rowett I would be rubbing my hands together thinking that they’ve got away with that.”
As a result of the win, Stoke City move up to 13th in the Sky Bet Championship table and Johnson believes the club are a huge threat in the second tier.
“They’re a top side really” Johnson said. “They’ve come down from the Premier League and spent a lot of money.
“They’ve got very good players.”
Bristol City are back in action next Saturday when they travel to Reading in the Sky Bet Championship.