Gary Rowett admitted he had to take the brakes off his in-form Burton Albion side as they charged to their third successive League Two victory.
The Brewers came from behind to record a 3-1 win - sentencing York City to their first away defeat of the season in the process.
Rowett said: "To be honest, I take some of the blame for our first-half performance because I said to the lads before the game that I didn't want them going stupid going forward.
"But I thought we just held off and put the brakes on, which I think was my fault. At half-time I took the reins off a little bit and urged the lads to have a go and see if we could make something happen."
Patrick McLaughlin put the Minstermen in front when he punished a rare defensive error by the hosts in the 10th minute. Burton had to rely a deflected long-range shot from midfielder Lee Bell to bring them level in the 23rd minute.
Rowett said: "I was disappointed with us in the first half because we didn't play with our usual energy. But maybe that worked in our favour in the end because we had a little bit left in the bank.
"We started battling for the first ball and we started to get the ball down and played in the right areas. As the game wore on, I thought Calvin Zola and Matt Paterson up front made things happen for us."
Burton went in front in the 65th minute when Zola pounced from close range after a Robbie Weir shot had been parried and Paterson delicately chipped home the third in added time.
York boss Gary Mills refused to criticise his men as they suffered their first defeat since the opening game of the season.
He said: "We'll take it on the chin and hopefully bounce back on Saturday against Cheltenham. And I'm certainly not going to criticise my players for one defeat because they've been magnificent so far this season."