Peter Stoger refused to blame supporter protests for Borussia Dortmund's 1-1 home draw with Augsburg that ended a three-match winning streak in the Bundesliga, although the coach was left frustrated by BVB's performance.
Marco Reus scored after 16 minutes to put Dortmund on track for a fourth successive Bundesliga win that would have seen Stoger's men close to 17 points within leaders Bayern Munich.
But in front of a sparsely-populated Signal Iduna Park, with fans boycotting against a first Monday game in 28 years, Kevin Danso struck to secure a point for Augsburg.
While the famous Yellow Wall was unusually quiet, Stoger did not think the protests of the Dortmund fans had an impact on a flat performance from his side.
"I did not feel that everyone wanted to do everything to make it better at the front and back," Stoger told a post-match news conference. "It certainly wasn't the backdrop. That would be a cheap excuse.
"It's not understandable to me. It would have been much easier with a second goal. I didn't like it.
"We do not demand anything that the players cannot bring. We wish, however, that we should assume more responsibility.
"There is always one or another explanation, but you do not necessarily have to use it.
"I'm not satisfied with the game. It was my impression that we only wanted to hold the lead."
Stoger's frustration was echoed by Mario Gotze, who cited a lack of attacking ambition from Dortmund as one of the reasons for a below-par display.
"The result is just very annoying," Gotze told Eurosport. "If you look at the gameplay, that should not happen to us.
"Especially here at home, against Augsburg, with the chance to get some clear space from the competition. It would be nice if I could explain that so quickly.
"We have made too little of our possession of the ball, have not come close enough to finish the goal, have offered too little on the wings.
"Especially in the last third and in pressing this is not as successful as we had imagined. That was not satisfactory. Definitely not."
Kevin Danso's equaliser prevented Borussia Dortmund from continuing their revival with a fourth consecutive Bundesliga win, Augsburg claiming a 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park on Monday.
Peter Stoger is yet to taste defeat in nine games since being appointed as the replacement for Peter Bosz in mid-December, but the coach will feel his side should have won this game.
A fine team move saw Dortmund take an early lead, Marco Reus on target for the second Bundesliga match in a row, the Germany international tucking home a close-range rebound.
Augsburg had chances to take a draw from a quiet, sparsely-populated Signal Iduna Park, with Dortmund fans protesting against their first Monday match in 28 years.
And in the closing stages Augsburg earned a hard-fought point, Danso thumping in after Roman Burki parried his header to snatch a result for his side.
Dortmund sit a point clear of third-placed Schalke, but with a massive 19 points to make up on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich there is little hope of BVB reviving a long-over title race.
Although Augsburg are yet to win away in 2018 they started on top, Michael Gregoritsch recording the first shot on target, although Burki made a comfortable save.
But after 15 minutes Dortmund were in front, scoring from their first meaningful attack.
Reus won the ball in his own half, launching a rapid break through Julian Weigl, and with Martin Hinteregger only able to block Andre Schurrle's low cross Reus was on hand to lift a clever finish over the prone defender and into the roof of the net.
Gregoritsch cleared the crossbar with a free-kick and Raphael Framberger fired at Burki after 25 minutes as Augsburg hunted a leveller.
Jonathan Schmid tested the BVB goalkeeper with another set-piece shortly before half-time, Burki unconvincingly getting down to his right to turn the dipping effort around the post.
Augsburg continued to threaten after the interval, Schmid and Hinteregger both missing the target with decent headed chances.
Dortmund substitute Mahmoud Dahoud fired off-target moments after his introduction and Schurrle almost made the points safe, his 18-yard drive fading wide with Marwin Hitz beaten.
Augsburg had scored in eight successive games against Dortmund and the visitors scored a deserved equaliser after 72 minutes.
Danso lost marker Sokratis Papastathopoulos and, although Burki saved his header from a right-wing Schmid corner, the defender smashed in the rebound to set up a grandstand finish.
But when the best chance to win the game fell to Dortmund, Michy Batshuayi hammered a shot over the crossbar after taking the ball away from captain Marcel Schmelzer.
Key Opta Facts:
- For the first time since March 2013 Marco Reus and Mario Gotze have started together in two consecutive Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund.
- Gotze played his 154th competitive match for Dortmund, overtaking European Champion Matthias Sammer (153).
- Reus has scored scored Dortmund's last two league goals. The forward has scored 7 goals in his last 9 Bundesliga games.
- In 36 competitive matches in 2017-18 Borussia Dortmund have scored 72 goals – exactly 2 goals per game on average.
- After nine Bundesliga games as BVB manager Peter Stoger is still undefeated (5 wins, 4 draws).
- Augsburg have not won any of their last 5 league games away from home (2 draws, 3 losses).