Jose Mourinho believes time has proven that his coaching style weren't the issue at Manchester United.
Mourinho was sacked in December after a poor start to this season and his successor Ole Gunnar Solksjaer won 10 of his first 11 games in charge but their form dipped after the Norwegian's permanent appointment. United registered just two victories in their last nine matches as they finished in sixth place, missing out on qualification for next year's Champions League.
The Portuguese has told L'Equipe that he felt undermined at United by some of the dressing room.
"Generally, the players can feel a certain erosion, especially when you ask a lot of them.
"When I say that the second season was fantastic, I say it because the potential and the objectives were met.
"I really squeezed, like an orange, to achieve them. When you have a very professional group of players who are ambitious, hard-working and talented, at a structured club, you don't have that erosion.
"When you are almost alone, in that you don't have the support of the club close to you, while certain players go somewhat against the coach, who is the nice guy.
"I don't want to be the nice guy, because the nice guy, after three months, is a puppet and that doesn't end well."
Mourinho says he remains proud of United's second-place finish in his second season in charge.
"I said nine or 10 months ago that after winning eight championships, finishing second with United may have been my greatest achievement. Now people understand.
"About United I want to say only two things: One is that time has spoken. Two is that the problems are still there."
Mourinho clashed with record signing Paul Pogba, but he insists the problems at the club go far deeper than the France midfielder.
"The problems are there, you can say that these are the players, the organisation, the ambition. I only say that I cannot say 'yes' when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible."