The response, when it came, was preceeded by a pause for thought. And then new City boss Glenn Roeder delivered one of the finer lines in recent Press conference memory.
“I think Tony Pulis has just spoken a load of rubbish – write that,” said Roeder, in the sure and certain knowledge that Christmas had just come that little bit earlier for every tabloid sports reporter at the Britannia Ground.
It was the suggestion that the Potters had “out-worked, out-battled and out-played” his fast-improving Canary side that had pushed the City manager's button. That and Pulis' added barb that Stoke should have won by “five or six goals” – and not just Richard Cresswell's late, 89th minute effort.
“But he's entitled to his opinion – that's the beauty of this game. And I'm entitled to mine.”
At which point yesterday's Press conference came to something of a natural conclusion with Roeder's eyes still blazing. The re-match, for the record, is back at Carrow Road, on Tuesday, March 11.
In the meantime, the new Canary boss was still taking many a positive from this weekend's away-day efforts.
He had a tactical switch that worked a treat in the shape of a 4-5-1 formation and Darren Huckerby's opening goal on five minutes; he had a 38-year-old centre-forward delivering a masterclass in the art; he had spirit and endeavour a-plenty and an 18-year-old substitute who almost stole the show completely with a wonderful flick over a static centre-half and a thumping volley to follow that flew just over the bar.
What he didn't have was a spot of concentration 30 seconds after the restart as Leon Cort was allowed to rise unchallenged to nod home Liam Lawrence's free-kick for the Potters' leveller; nor that same strength of mind and body little more than 30 seconds from the end of normal time as Richard Creswell found himself with enough time and space in the City six-yard box to scramble home the winner off the back of yet another Stoke set-play.
“It ruined what potentially could have been an excellent day for us,” said Roeder as pondered that 89th minute heart-breaker.
Out-battled, out-worked, out-played? Not to Roeder's mind.
“I would concede that Stoke put a lot of pressure on us in the second-half, but I'd also say that we were by far the better team in the first-half and I thought we let them off the hook a little bit by only being just the one up at half-time.
“So not to take anything from the game in the fashion that we did in the last minute is not a good experience, but we live to fight another day.”
It wasn't one of those days when the decorators' needed to return to the away dressing room come Monday morning. The paintwork was fine; it wasn't Plymouth (a).
“We played with a lot of courage overall,” said Roeder, determined to see a bigger picture than just another away defeat.
“We've lost the game, yes. But as a coach and as a manager you've got to look deeper than the result,” said Roeder, handed something of an early Christmas bonus in the shape of this afternoon's FA Cup third round draw – at home to League Two Bury.
“You have to look at the performance. Because if you get the performance right more often than not, then you'll get the right result more often than not. Some days you won't.
“Today we didn't take a point and I think we should have,” added the City boss, today linked to a January window move for ex-Milton Keynes Dons striker Izale McLeod now struggling to make an impact with his new employers, Charlton Athletic.
Back in the Potteries and Roeder's pre-game plans had been hit by two injury concerns – one, to rest Luke Chadwick's damaged shoulder and, two, a migraine for right-back Jon Otsemobor. It was the first game the one-time Liverpool starlet had missed since his summer switch to Norfolk.
He is, however, expected to be fine for Tuesday night's home clash with Plymouth Argyle.
“I don't suffer with them myself,” said Roeder. “But my wife does and I know that they're horrible and there isn't any possibility of playing – Nicky Butt at Newcastle he would occasionally have a migraine and it would knock him out of for two or three days.”
It did, at least, give Roeder the chance to have a first look at Gary Doherty, whose centre-half upbringing was evident in a number of crucial interceptions. He wasn't, however, one for charging deep in the opposition half.
“I thought for his first game, Doc (Doherty) did well.”
As did Dion Dublin. Again. “One of the very good guys of English football.”
And a scoring start for Huckerby. All after just five minutes, too.
“Great start – a well-worked goal. Hucks scoring off his left-foot as well,” noted the manager, as his first switch to 4-5-1 paid almost instant dividends.
“But we didn't use him enough in the second-half; we didn't get the ball out to him enough. You try to get that message on to the players; you like to think that the players would recognise that themselves.
“Huckerby is a real threat in this division. A real threat. And in the second-half we starved him – and that was to our detriment. He just didn't see enough of the ball.”
The biggest chink the armour was simply conceding that leveller 30 seconds after the restart – it merely urged the Potters on and gave both the home crowd and their players something to cling to. Kept it tight for another 15, 20 minutes and Roeder might have picked up his seventh point in a week.
“There couldn't have been a worse time to concede an equaliser,” he admitted. “What was it? Less than a minute into the second-half.
“The last thing I said to them going down the tunnel was: 'Don't give away silly free-kicks…'” said Roeder, with Leon Cort ready to amble unchallenged into the City box as Martin Taylor and Co kept too much of an eye on the giant Mamady Sidibe.
“This team is nearly built on delivering set-plays into the penalty box; a long throw that is a real weapon for them in Delap; they don't miss the opportunity to get the ball into the penalty box from anywhere on the pitch – as long as they can reach the penalty box.
“So I said: 'Let's not give free-kicks away… ' Of course, we did and we got punished.”