Roberto Di Matteo has hit out at those he claims have branded Chelsea "the worst team in England" despite their Champions League and FA Cup success.
The caretaker boss has managed to bite his tongue somewhat over criticism of his side but when it was pointed out that Manchester United had been praised this season for their handling of veteran stars Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, the Italian could not help himself.
"Thank you very much. Thank you very much," he said. "What can I say? From where I'm sitting, we are one point now behind Tottenham, in the final of the FA Cup and semi-final of the Champions League, and we seem to be the worst team in England, you know? That's what it feels like sometimes."
Asked if he had used that to motivate his players, he said: "I'm not going to tell you what I use!
"I'm not saying it's unfair. We respect everybody's opinion."
Di Matteo also rubbished suggestions the eight changes he made in the goalless draw with Arsenal on Saturday demonstrated he was prepared to sacrifice a top-four spot in the Premier League for the hope of Champions League glory.
"We are not sacrificing everything and I've always tried to select a team that is able to win the games," he said, claiming a failure to finish fourth would be the result of what happened before he took charge.
"The regret is that we've lost many, many points before.
"What we've been doing in the last six weeks, I think the points tally is very good."