Alen Stajcic hopes ongoing controversy about his sacking as Matildas coach doesn't derail the national team's World Cup campaign.
Stajcic says up to 25 Matildas players have sent messages of support to him since he was axed as coach on January 19.
"I haven't engaged with them deliberately," Stajcic told Macquarie Sports Radio on Tuesday.
"They have got their own careers to focus on ... there's a point in time they have got focus on the World Cup, it's only four months away.
"As an athlete it's something you grow up dreaming of and they're at the pointy end now where they have to focus.
"I have deliberately tried to keep my distance but there has been probably over 20, 25 players, who have reached out and sent messages of support which has been great."
After the axed coach broke his silence on Monday, Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Chris Nikou said in a statement that Stajcic had admitted the Matildas' team environment was "dysfunctional".
Stajcic refused to specifically respond to the FFA statement.
"I don't want to get into tit-for-tat comments about what was said behind closed doors, I don't think that is a professional way to behave," he said.
Stajcic said he hadn't though about whether he would be willing to coach the Matildas again if FFA did a backflip on his sacking.
"That's a tough question. The state of mind that I'm in at the moment, I can't even contemplate something like that," he said.
"I'm really just trying to protect myself and my family first and foremost, it has been a horrific three weeks for us ... what the future holds for me, that is secondary at the moment."
FFA has repeatedly cited confidentiality arrangements for refusing to detail specific reasons for the sacking, which Stajcic again criticised.
"I don't know what their confidentiality refers to, I'm assuming it refers to the information that they have gathered which they didn't want to share with me either," he said.
"... I can't respond to anything because I don't know what is there."
Stajcic said FFA's secrecy had allowed innuendo to flourish about the reasons for his removal.
"That is the hardest part and that is why I had to come out yesterday after three weeks," he said.
"The lack of clarity and transparency from FFA in that whole period allowed that speculation to grow, allowed that innuendo and firestorm to continue evolving.
"I had to come out and quell that."
Australian Associated Press