Alex Neil felt Norwich City paid the price for not taking their chances during the 3-0 loss at Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday.
A pair of first-half goals from Harry Kane, plus a long-range effort from substitute Tom Carroll with 10 minutes to go, secured the home side all three points at White Hart Lane.
However, the outcome might have been different had Norwich turned their early dominance into a lead. They twice forced saves out of Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, while Cameron Jerome headed over from a corner.
"We had some decent opportunities before they scored," Neil said.
"In the second half there wasn't a huge deal in it, but I thought they [Tottenham] played well. They had better quality than us.
"If we had managed to keep it at 1-0 until half time, I think we would have had a chance in the second half.
"But, as happens at times, when you go searching for an equaliser you get done. I didn't think our retention of the ball did us any favours.
"If we had scored the first goal, I'd have fancied our chances."
Tottenham broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, with Norwich goalkeeper Declan Rudd punished for a foul on Kane.
Neil admitted he initially thought his player had touched the ball before the Tottenham striker as he rushed from his line, but changed his mind after viewing replays of the incident.
"My initial instinct was that Declan got a touch on it, because the trajectory of the ball changed," he said.
"However, looking at it back, it's one of them where he makes a connection with the ball and the player at the same time.
"There certainly is a case for it to be a penalty. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't."