Jose Mourinho has claimed his achievement in guiding Manchester United to runners-up spot in the Premier League last season was one of the best in his career because "people don't know what is going on behind the scenes."
Mourinho, speaking on BeIN SPORTS, went on to insist that he would return to management at the "top level" following his Old Trafford sacking last month.
Sources told ESPN FC that the 55-year-old had been subject to a so-called gagging order by United, preventing him from speaking about the terms of, and background to, his dismissal as manager.
But although the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach stopped short of going into detail about his time at United, he made it clear that finishing second last season was a major achievement.
"If I tell you, for example, that I consider one of the best jobs of my career was to finish second with Man United in the Premier League, you will say, 'this guy is crazy,'" Mourinho said. "'He won 25 titles and he is saying that a second position was one of his best achievements?'"
"I keep saying this because people don't know what is going on behind the scenes.
"And sometimes we, in this side of the cameras, analyse things with a different perspective."
Mourinho went public with his unhappiness with the club's transfer dealings last summer, but his reference to "behind the scenes" may apply to United's failure to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic at the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
The club went on to sign Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January, but Mourinho did not hide his frustration at United's inability to push through a deal for Perisic.
Despite his sacking by United, Mourinho insisted on BeIN SPORTS that he will return to management.
"I want to coach, I am too young [to stop]," he said. "I have been in football a long time, but I will be 56 in a couple of weeks, so I am really too young.
"Where I am going to stay is where I belong. I belong to top football, top-level football and that is where I am going to.
"You speak about [Pep] Guardiola or [Carlo] Ancelotti, the ones where I obviously belong, have a career of victories for a long period."
Mourinho was criticised for his style of play as United manager, with fans and players growing frustrated with the negative, cautious approach adopted by his team.
But the Portuguese defended his record and claimed that young, emerging coaches should remember that results are the ultimate measure of a manager's success.
"It is very easy to play well and not win," Mourinho said. "It is very easy to be behind a certain idea of certain football without results.
"The people that win and the people who win consistently -- you can win isolated and then disappear -- the people who win consistently have a different idea about that.
"Where are the young ones with a real impact of results? Where are they?
"My wish is that the ones who are starting, like I, Pep, Ancelotti was, I hope they transform their image and reputation in results.
"Because that is what stays forever and what makes you belong to a certain level."