John Obi Mikel claims Andre Villas-Boas' failure to communicate with the Chelsea players led to his downfall and has backed Roberto Di Matteo to land the job permanently.
Portuguese tactician Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea boss in March after less than a year in charge at Stamford Bridge following a poor run of form in the Premier League.
Di Matteo has taken temporary charge, leading Chelsea to FA Cup final success and to the final of the UEFA Champions League later this month.
Mikel believes Villas-Boas failed to get the best out of the players during his time at the helm because he could not get his message across.
"The communication was not right," said Mikel. "AVB is a great manager. He has done well for himself and is only young.
"But when you are young, coming into a business like this you are going to make mistakes.
"From the start of this season, I was one of the key players in the team. But there were a few rotations early on and it was difficult.
"You think you have played well in a game and the manager then leaves you out. You don't know the reason why. Things like this went on through everyone's head and not just mine.
"Nobody knew what was happening. When you have something like that in your mind, you don't know what to do. You come into training and think, 'Should I train well, because I don't know if I'm going to be playing at the weekend?'
"Things like that just went on and on."
Di Matteo backing
Mikel has been impressed by the impact of Di Matteo and he insists all the players want the former Chelsea midfielder to be handed the job on a permanent basis.
"It's not now a question for players," added Mikel. "I think if you see the way it has gone, I don't think it's a question for us to answer.
"But one thing I would say is everyone in this team right now is very, very happy with what Robbie is doing.
"His man-management has been fantastic and the way he goes about his business before a game - tactics and preparation - is just absolutely spot-on. So we hope he gets it.
"But, at the end of the day, the club will decide the right way for it to go."