Chelsea captain John Terry insisted on Friday that coach Roberto Di Matteo is not a Stamford Bridge puppet and that the Italian is firmly in control of team affairs.
"In response to comments suggesting that I think I'm the manager, I'd like to say Robbie has stepped up and been immense," Terry told the Evening Standard newspaper.
Terry, standing to the side of Di Matteo, was spotted screaming orders at his teammates from the bench after being substituted in last week's dramatic Champions League win over Napoli.
"I am Chelsea through and through, whether I am on the pitch or off it," added the 31-year-old.
"Had I still been on the pitch, I would have been saying the same things that I was from the bench. That is my role as captain of this club.
"Just because I have come off the pitch, it doesn't mean to say my mentality changes.
"People might see it in the wrong way, but I care about this football club - we all do - and Robbie and his backroom staff deserve full credit."