Fabio Capello refused to blame his players for England's woeful exit from the World Cup at the hands of Germany, instead focusing on the decision to disallow Frank Lampard's equalising goal.
England had been outplayed and were 2-1 down when Lampard's effort hit the underside of Manuel Neuer's bar and bounced down a clear yard over the line.
Assistant referee Mauricio Espinosa failed to spot it, though, and instead of drawing level at 2-2, England capitulated in the second half to lose 4-1, their worst ever World Cup defeat.
"It was one of the most important things in the game," Capello told BBC1.
"The goal was very important. We could have played a different style.
"We played I think well at 2-1, but after the third goal it was a little bit disappointing.
"We played well. Germany is a big team. They played a good game. We made some mistakes when they played the counter-attack. The referee made bigger mistakes.
"Little things decide the result always."
Captain Steven Gerrard admitted the disallowed goal had an effect but made no excuses for the heavy defeat.
"There were big key decisions in the game, at 2-1 we had a goal disallowed. At 2-1 we were hurting them and we were still in the game," he told BBC 5 Live.
"I think it (the disallowed goal) had an effect but we cannot use that as an excuse with being beaten 4-1.
"That would have been a big goal for us. It's all ifs and buts. Germany are a fantastic team and they deserved their win.
"You go away and you have a think about what went wrong and why we didn't progress further in the tournament.
"As a team we've made a big mistake today and we've been beaten by a good team.
"They were more clinical in front of goal and they made less mistakes than us and we got punished for that today."Reuse content