The Norwich manager's 100 per cent start to his Championship tenure was blown to shreds as Lee Hendrie shone in Stoke's five-star display.
After a gruelling League Cup exit to City's neighbours Port Vale, a trip back to the Potteries was the last thing the Canaries needed.
But after a poor opening half, supporters would have been forgiven for mistaking the half-time £10,000 prize draw for the afternoon's main event.
The hosts took a deserved two-goal advantage into the interval after glimpses of quality from Hendrie and Ricardo Fuller punctuated a lacklustre 45 minutes.
Neither side had registered a shot on target in the opening 22 minutes until Hendrie struck.
The midfielder, navigating a route in via Fuller and Mamady Sidibe, calmly slotted in his third goal in five starts since making his temporary move from Villa Park.
The loanee was at the heart of the second. Sidibe nodded back Hendrie's deep centre for Fuller who powered home at the second time of asking.
Hendrie's Premiership pedigree was there in abundance and he almost notched a second-half brace but shot wide.
The fleet-footed winger had jinked his way into the danger zone with some ease before firing agonisingly wide.
By now the visitors looked a spent force and come the 72nd minute were facing a three-goal deficit with ten men.
Jamie Ashdown, in only his second start with the Canaries, hauled down Luke Chadwick with the winger poised to pull the trigger.
Danny Higgingbotham slammed home the resulting spot-kick to put the oppressive Potteries outfit well out of Norwich's reach.
Chadwick added the gloss to a convincing home display when he drove home a sweet shot into the bottom corner following a mazy run through the Norwich rearguard.
And former Norwich midfielder Darel Russell piled on the misery when he slammed home a shot from range.
The midfield man was allowed all the time in the world to take aim before drilling home the fifth goal of the afternoon against his former club.