The Edinburgh club were brushed aside by Spurs 5-0 at Tynecastle in the first leg of their Europa League play-off and the Portuguese tactician says the main reason is because most of his players seemed in awe of the line-up Harry Redknapp had deployed.
"First half we were on the pitch like someone who had bought a ticket, with our eyes on the ball, no press at all - it was awful,” he said.
"When you let players like Tottenham touch the ball and run into empty space it's dangerous for you.
"We showed them too much respect. They are men like us. They played as they wanted in the first half.
"We know there's a huge difference between us and Tottenham, but I know we should do better than we did in the first half."
Sergio would be well aware that Hearts’ Europa League dream is all but over but he says this provides a good test for his side in Sunday’s league match at Kilmarnock.
“In football as in life, you should learn from the mistakes you make,” he added.
"It's another opportunity to show that you learn, that you are well prepared for the future.
"People that don't learn are maybe not going to play too many times with me."