Chelsea's players made their critics look "stupid" despite their League Cup exit at Stoke, says Jose Mourinho.
The Blues boss claimed their display in the penalty shootout defeat, after a 1-1 draw, was enough to undermine claims his players were not playing for him.
"What the players did tonight is face the people that write and say, 'you are stupid'," said the Portuguese, 52.
"You think the players did not give everything to win the game? That is really sad."
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Holders Chelsea were beaten 5-4 on penalties in the fourth-round tie after forcing extra-time through Loic Remy's injury-time equaliser.
His Blues side had 59% possession and 24 attempts at goal - nine of those were on target, compared to Stoke's five. They also won 11 corners to Stoke's two.
Mourinho faced the media after the match for the first time since Friday, having refused to speak after Saturday's 2-1 defeat by West Ham and before Tuesday's cup tie.
'My players tried everything'
Mourinho is facing more disciplinary action by the Football Association after being sent to the stands at half-time of Saturday's loss at Upton Park.
The Blues went on to suffer their fifth Premier League defeat in 10 matches this season at the Boleyn Ground.
But Mourinho, who also received a suspended stadium ban earlier this season, says any claims that his players have been affected by his behaviour show a "lack of respect" to his team.
"For me it would be a fantastic situation if the players are against me, I can say, you don't have results because the players are against me," he said.
"What some people write and say is really bad for the players. Most of the people that do that used to be players.
"I think they think my players are like them when they were players. Maybe they were able to do that. My players tried everything."
'I think Diego Costa punched himself'
Mourinho was forced to withdraw injured striker Diego Costa after 33 minutes at Stoke, later saying that the Spain international had gone to hospital with a rib injury.
"He is in hospital - but I don't know what the situation is," said Mourinho, whose side host Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday.
"Is he a doubt to face Liverpool? I don't know.
"How did the injury happen? I think he punched himself."
'People are contradicting themselves'
Chelsea cruised to the Premier League title last season and were among the favourites to retain their crown.
But their torrid start to the season has left them in 15th position, already 11 points behind leaders Manchester City.
"A few months ago I won a few matches and I was champion. People were saying there are things more important than results," he said.
'Now, people say results are the most important thing. It's a contradiction."