PETER CROUCH admits that Stoke City's heart-breaking 3-2 defeat against reigning champions Manchester United on Saturday was 'a difficult one to take'.
The England international fired the Potters into a third minute lead with his first goal of the campaign, before Robin Van Persie levelled for the hosts five minutes before the break.
Marko Arnautovic fired home a spectacular free-kick right on the half-time whistle to restore the visitors lead - a strike that seemed certain to end a 37-year long wait for victory at Old Trafford.
However, two headers from Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez in the space of 90 seconds, deep into the second half, inflicted a fifth defeat of the season upon the side.
"It is a really difficult one to take, for me personally, for the other players, for the manager and of course, for all of the supporters," he told Stoke City Player.
"We had chances in the first-half to have really given ourselves a comfortable lead, but unfortunately we weren't able to convert them.
"We have got the players within the squad to score goals though, and you can see that from the game today where we managed to score two against the champions.
"It's bitterly disappointing to be going home empty handed because we certainly deserved at least a point from the game - there is no question about that.
"We created good opportunities, scored a couple of goals and really gave a good account of ourselves against a very good team."
He added: "We have to take the positives from the game though, because despite the feeling that we all have now, there were a lot of good things to come out of the match today."