Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has said he "needed" the full support of Pep Guardiola during his battle against cancer as he felt "alone".
Vilanova, 44, spent two months in New York last season, when he underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment on a recurrence of parotid gland cancer.
Guardiola, now at Bayern Munich, was recently critical of his former club, following suggestions that he had not made the effort to see his ex-assistant during his illness.
Asked about the matter at a press conference on Tuesday, Vilanova said: "As you know, I like to avoid talking about personal things and concentrate on football. But I heard what Pep said and it wasn't true, it surprised me.
"I don't think that anyone on the board used me to attack him. These people have always helped me however they possibly can.
"I met with Pep during a two-day trip to New York. Then I went back for a couple of months for the operation and the subsequent treatment and we didn't see each other at all but that wasn't down to me.
"He decided it was better if we didn't see each other but he is my friend and I needed him. I would have acted differently if I were Pep.
"I was the one that was alone, I was the one going through a tough time, I was the one who needed help."