Phil Brown felt his Hull side lost their direction after conceding the second goal against Stoke.
The Tigers were unable to claw the game back after Liam Lawrence`s strike, although Andy Dawson did grab a late consolation.
Brown said: "There was some urgency but I think it was misdirected. We started throwing balls into the penalty area without any real thought.
"I think we played half-decent football in the first half but the second goal killed us and, because of that, people start getting anxious.
"I think the difference between the two teams was nerves and I think that played a part."