Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has said any future criticism of the European champions by their own bosses should remain internal, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at Manchester City.
Lahm has responded after Bayern's director of sport Matthias Sammer lambasted the team's below-par performance in last month's 2-0 win at home to Hanover when he angrily accused them of "lethargic football".
At the time, both Bayern president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Sammer had over-stepped the mark.
But ahead of the holders' Champions League match at City's Etihad Stadium, Lahm told German weekly newspaper Die Zeit that any senior Bayern figures who want to criticise should only do so internally.
"It takes time to develop a feeling of knowing when it's the right time for something like this and which tone to take," said Lahm with Bayern rivalling City at the top of Group D.
"In the moment of being critical, you have to hold back your emotions.
"If the boss is too emotional, then you lose something, and for me, it's become less credible.
"For us footballers, what the club's senior figures say in public doesn't play a big role.
"A good coach and captain moderate, they don't dictate, especially not in public.
"If the players see that those responsible don't need the limelight, then they get our full backing."
But Lahm later stopped short of criticising Sammer directly when asked about his comments before Tuesday's flight to England.
"That doesn't mean that I am criticising the board, it means that internal criticism of players should go on behind closed doors and not be made public," Lahm told German Sky Sports News.
Lahm's comments did not seem to bother Sammer who told SID, an AFP subsidiary: "everything's fine, there is no problem" at Munich airport.