Mark Hughes concedes Stoke City failed to live up to the high standards they have set this season after falling to a disappointing 3-0 loss at Leicester City on Saturday.
Leicester returned to the top of the table as Danny Drinkwater’s maiden Premier League goal and second-half efforts from Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa completed a comfortable outing for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Stoke have deservedly drawn plaudits for their style of play this season and have beaten the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the league.
But they were below-par at the King Power Stadium and manager Hughes was left to lament a disappointing afternoon in the east Midlands.
“It is very difficult to win points in the Premier League if you have not got everyone at a good level,” Hughes told BBC Sport.
“For some reason we were a bit below the high standards we set. In certain situations we needed to produce an end product and on too many occasions we didn’t.
“In the end we were well beaten, Leicester City deserved their win.”
Stoke’s defeat leaves them ninth in the Premier League and they will look to rebound quickly in Tuesday’s trip to Liverpool for the second leg of their League Cup semi-final tie, with Hughes’ men trailing 1-0 from the first encounter.