Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill was left frustrated after a “disappointing result” against Brentford on Saturday saw his team slip seven points from the play-offs.
He saw an early Jacob Brown goal count for nothing as two second half strikes gave the Bees a 2-1 win.
The Potters took the lead after just 27 seconds as Tommy Smith pounced on an error from David Raya to give Brown the easiest of finishes into an empty net.
Speaking to the club’s website post-match, O’Neill was pleased with his side’s first-half performance, saying: “I thought we were very good.
“Obviously we got a little bit of a gift early in the game which we took.”
However, the Potters were pegged back on 56 minutes through a Vitaly Janelt 25-yard curler.
O’Neill praised the quality of the strike but felt his team “could have possibly done a little bit better in the build-up.”
The hosts then completed the turnaround as the Championship’s top scorer, Ivan Toney, was able to slot home from Bryan Mbeumo’s knock-down.
The Potters boss labelled Toney as “arguably the best striker in the league this season, and that was the difference.”
Playing three at the back was a successful formation in the last two encounters with the Bees but O’Neill believed that this time around the system “wasn’t enough on the day.”
This defeat leaves Stoke in 10th place ahead of their clash with 3rd-place Swansea on Wednesday.
Click to follow Sport in Staffs for all our latest articles on: