The Potters found themselves 3-0 down at the City Ground after just 50 minutes, before a spirited comeback saw them come close to forcing the game into a penalty shootout.
It was a 20 minute spell in the game which saw the Reds to score a second and third through Daryl Murphy and Joe Lolley, following Ben Osborn’s 19th minute opener which annoyed Rowett.
“For 15 or 20 minutes we looked bright and the link play with Bojan, Saido and Crouchy was very good,” he said. “We then showed a lack of courage for the last 15 to 20 minutes of the first half and allowed Forest to dictate. The second goal is a really poor goal. It’s another poorly-timed goal. We then concede another poor goal. I’m responsible, but it’s frustrating because we’ve got good players out there making poor decisions.”
Rowett shook things up in the second half, throwing on £10m man Benik Afobe and he was rewarded with a goal from the striker on the hour. The game then turned on its head 13 minutes from time when Diogo Goncalves was given a straight red card .Saido Berahino netted one before missing a sitter to make it 3-3, and Rowett still bemoaned the fact his side were 3-0 down before they started playing.
The bottom line is Stoke were poor at the back and profligate up front. Not good enough!