Stoke boss Tony Pulis has hit back at want-away goalkeeper Asmir Begovic for his reasoning behind not playing in the Carling Cup.
Begovic, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, sat out Tuesday's 2-1 win over Shrewsbury casting further doubt over his future with the club.
According to the Professional Football Association, he claimed that his mind was "a bit scrambled" and that he would prefer not to play in that game should there be another alternative.
Pulis, though, insists that was not the case, saying that Begovic had refused to play for the Potters.
He described the situation as a "disease" in football which should have been dealt with in private.
Behind closed doors
"I had a good meeting with (Stoke chairman) Peter (Coates) yesterday and we'll deal with it internally," Pulis told Sky Sports News.
"I'm disappointed that the kid has come out now and said that it wasn't him who decided he wasn't going to play. I think that is desperately disappointing and I will speak to him about that.
"We had a (team) meeting on Tuesday, I picked the team, he was in it and then we went out and trained. I told Carlo Nash he was going to be on the bench, I told Thomas Sorensen he wasn't involved, and I will leave you to decide then who changed whose opinion.
"I'm really disappointed with the stuff that has come out, but we'll deal with it in-house and we certainly won't be pushed or bullied into a situation where we are releasing players, never mind what the situation is."
Pulis says he will not be bullied into selling Begovic who only signed for the Potters last season from Portsmouth.
"He's a good kid and he has been smashing ever since he joined this club, but something has turned his head," Pulis said.
"It happens now in football and he is not the only one it has happened to - people blow in their ears, outside influences, and sometimes unfortunately they overstep the mark."
He added: "I think you have to be strong enough as a football club, no matter how much pressure is being put on, to stand up at times and really protect your club.
"It is the not the first time it has happened and it will not be the last. It is just a disease which has grown and grown and grown."