France boss Didier Deschamps has lashed out at "pathetic" reports that the French football association (FFF) is preparing to fire him if they do not reach World Cup 2014.
Les Bleus face two play-off qualifiers with Ukraine this month, away on November 15 and at home four days later, with the winner set for a place at Brazil and the loser to sit out next summer.
French outlet Liberation had claimed that the FFF was weakening the former Olympique de Marseille boss' position in power in preparation of firing him if they fail to qualify for the World Cup, with Deschamps issuing an angry response.
"I will use the same word as the [FFF] president used about this article: pathetic," the 45-year-old told Le Parisien. "It is unpleasant, but I do not care.
"The president was very unhappy. We are not obliged to respond to things unfounded or defamatory."
France finished behind reigning world and European champions Spain in Group I, which meant that they went into the play-off draw but avoided a nightmare tie with Portugal, who instead face Sweden.
The other two Uefa spots at Brazil will be fought over between Greece-Romania and Iceland-Croatia.