Jose Mourinho has brushed aside claims that his trophy-laden first spell in charge of Chelsea was set up by Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri.
The Blues boss has been the subject of intense scrutiny after managing the reigning champions to a lowly 14th place in the league this season.
The Chelsea manager's nemesis Arsene Wenger has recently argued that Mourinho has Ranieri to thank for his multiple trophy successes after taking over the club in 2004, when he won the Premier League and League Cup twice apiece alongside one FA Cup honour.
But ahead of Monday night's clash with Leicester, the Chelsea boss has laughed off suggestions that he inherited a successful squad.
Mourinho said: "If it was his decision to buy Frank Lampard, to buy Eidur Gudjohnsen, to buy Claude Makelele, then these were great decisions.
"You finish a season, finish a period, you’ve been here four or five years and the club decides to go in a different direction. It’s when you finish a cycle and another cycle opens.
"When it is in the end of a period I think it’s normal. I feel sympathy when people finish their job in the middle of a marathon and another one comes to replace.
In pictures: Jose Mourinho's career at Stamford Bridge
"We changed so many things in that period. So many players were leaving when Claudio left and so many were coming.
"Petr Cech was coming, Paulo Ferreira, Ricardo Carvalho, Arjen Robben, Didier Drogba, Alexei Smertin, Tiago.
"It was a complete change. Change the manager, change the squad and change the direction. This is football.
The Blues' hopes of a title defence were quickly reduced to rubble this season after falling to eight defeats from just 15 Premier League appearances.
Mourinho's men lie below the likes of West Brom and recently promoted Watford in a season where the title race is wide open, and are struggling to string a run of results together.
But the Portuguese manager only sees three league outcomes for his Chelsea side.
He added: "In this moment they are in such a position where only three things can happen to them.
"One is to be champion, which would be amazing, another one would be to finish top four and that would be again a super achievement, but in this moment very normal because of the difference of points.
"The worst that can happen to them is to finish in the top six, which would be a phenomenal season too. I don’t think in this moment that they are thinking about relegation any more or not even in the bottom half. They have conditions to enjoy and play without pressure."