Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said the Premier League's other clubs "should be without a manager" if he is sacked.
City's defeat at Southampton last week leaves them 12 points adrift of league leaders Manchester United with 12 games to play, having been eliminated at the Champions League group stage for the second successive season.
The FA Cup - the first trophy Mancini won in England - is his best hope of winning silverware however the Italian was not impressed when it was suggested his job may be in jeopardy.
"In three years we are always on the top - we fight for the title, we have won three trophies, we have the chance to win more this year," Mancini said ahead of this weekend's FA Cup fifth-round tie at home against Leeds united.
"All the people who talk about this don't understand football.
"Because if Manchester City should sack me, the other 20 teams in the Premier League should be without a manager."
Mancini oversaw City's first title win in 44 years after a tremendous comeback from eight points behind United with just six games remaining last season, while the 2011 FA Cup win was also the club's first trophy in 35 years.
However the Italian has spent £291.75m since he arrived in December 2009 and his Champions League record - which was patchy with Internazionale - could be his undoing.
When told he had been criticised by "former City players", Mancini sarcastically responded by saying they were "probably the players that won a lot of trophies in the history".
Former City right-back Danny Mills outlandishly suggested Mancini could be replaced as early as next Thursday if they are knocked out by Leeds on Sunday.
Mills told BBC Sport: "You wonder what would happen if they went out of the FA Cup against Leeds. I think Roberto Mancini goes."