Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe seems more concerned with the standard of A-League referreeing than his own team's inability to create scoring chances despite the signing of two international attacking players.
The Glory are winless from two games this season following losses to Central Coast and Wellington with those expected to help replace Irishman Andy Keogh, Dutchman Guyon Fernandez and Spaniard Diego Castro not scoring yet.
They haven't looked likely either but what Lowe was left stewing over following Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Phoenix at nib Stadium was Stephen Lucas' refereeing that saw Glory skipper Richard Garcia receive a second yellow card before the visitors scored the winner.
"They (players) wanted to win that game desperately and they've been underdone by other factors outside of their performance which is really disappointing.
"It needs to be better than that, it's not acceptable at that level," Lowe said.
"I don't think there was really a bad tackle out there to be truthful. Everybody's committed and whole-hearted but we've got people getting elbowed and blood drawn and not getting carded.
"Then we've got Richard Garcia winning the ball, gets a yellow and then gets the red."
Despite the lack of goals and creating chances by Fernandez and Castro, Lowe isn't concerned yet heading into Wednesday's FFA Cup semi-final against Melbourne City, and Sunday's clash with Adelaide United, both at home.
"It was his (Fernandez) first 90 the other day and we've got three games in a week. He hasn't had much game time, same as Diego," Lowe said.
"Diego plays in behind, he doesn't play up front so he's free to roam. We had some joy and created some opportunities, and Diego looked lively popping up in the box creating chances. It will get better."
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick had no such concern with Michael McGlinchey, Roly Bonevacia, Roy Krishna and Jeffrey Sarpong all looking dangerous in attack, and he only expects that to keep improving come Saturday's clash at home with the unbeaten Brisbane Roar.
"We had more possession, we had more shots and it gets a bit frustrating at times, but we persevered and it was good to get Jeffrey Sarpong a run," Merrick said.
"That's his first hour of competitive football for a while and I thought Michael McGlinchey was outstanding and Roly started to show what he's capable of. Andrew Durante has been a mainstay of our team, but without him Manny Muscat and Ben Sigmund did a great job."