I am in search of an idiom that would convey the act of explaining oneself to a person, after a third person has put one into an embarrassing situation, however with a bit of anger towards that third person.
Imagine, three actors in a hierarchical organization: a director, a manager and an employee. The employee makes a promise to deliver something by a deadline, based on which the manager makes a promise to the director to deliver too. The employee then fails to deliver without giving a proper heads-up, thereby putting the manager in a very difficult situation. The manager then has a conversation or a meeting with the director (or even a larger group of people) during which she/he has to explain themselves as well as the employee, possibly making up a fictitious story.
My question is: what would be an idiom to convey what manager did in front of the director, it would combine: to cover up, to answer for, to feel embarrassed, to feel anger or irritation, to be ashamed - all that in a sarcastic tone that emphasizes the awkwardness the manager was put into in front of the director, by the employee.
Not sure how much it is going to help you - in Polish, in a situation like above, we use a phrase which could be literally translated as to flash/shine one's eyes for sb (one = the manager, sb = the employee). The manager would say something like: "Hey, we need to talk! I had a board meeting yesterday and I had to flash my eyes for you again!"
When trying to answer my question please focus on how the manager would describe their awkward situation to the employee or any third person (as in the Polish language example above).
Would to play dumb make sense? It is not as figurative as I would expect, but it is the closest I was able to find.