Gordon Strachan had to bite his tongue about referee Sven Oddvar Moen after Scotland lost 2-1 to Germany in their opening European Championship qualifier at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund.
A Thomas Muller double, one either side of an Ikechi Anya leveller, gave the World Cup winners victory but the Scots were angry about the performance of the Norwegian official.
Germany defender Erik Durm was perhaps fortunate to receive only a yellow card for a foul on striker Steven Naismith before midfielder Charlie Mulgrew, booked earlier, was sent packing for time wasting by kicking the ball away near the end when the visitors were chasing a goal.
The referee also ended the game when Scotland had a corner with the players claiming he had blown early.
When asked about the official’s performance, Strachan said: “We try our best not to speak about referees.
“But I would love to see the assessment of the referee’s performance, that’s all I want to say about that.
“Unfortunately we don’t get to see them.”
Strachan revealed a general sense of frustration about the game after a much improved second-half.
Muller headed the opener for the home side after 18 minutes of a one-sided first-half in which the visitors found themselves constantly on the back foot.
Scotland were a different side after the break and when Anya levelled in the 66th minute following a swift break there was a brief hope of a point if not more until Muller swiftly restored the home side’s lead after a mix-up in the Scotland penalty area.
He said: “We had to adjust after 20 minutes and settle down a bit
“The Germans are always going to have more chances that goes without saying, but at 1-1 I genuinely believed we could win the game. We played with no fear.”
The former Celtic manager refused to blame his defence for sloppy marking for both German goals.
He said: “When you are dealing with an exceptional machine like Muller then you will have a problem.
“If you can find me a player at six foot four and who can jump about eight feet which Muller can, the goals are avoidable but we don’t have anybody to do that and neither do most countries in the world.
“We should be proud of what we did after we sorted out the first 20 minutes.
“And how good were our fans? They made the occasion fantastic and are one of the reasons we have to get to a major finals.”