Ryan Giggs has lashed out at those who criticise his managerial ambitions, insisting it is "ridiculous" to claim he does not have enough experience to manage in the top flight.
Giggs, who managed Manchester United for four games after David Moyes' sacking in 2014, has been linked with a clutch of jobs in recent months, including Swansea City and Wales.
However, he has yet to move into the dugout full-time as a number one - he did spend two years under Louis van Gaal as assistant manager at United - and told The Times last week that he would feel comfortable managing a top-flight club, given the experience he gained during his playing career.
"I don't have experience in the lower divisions. It's not where I've worked in my career," he said.
"I've spent my whole life in the Premier League - not just as a player but as a player-coach and assistant manager. I know now I wasn't ready when I had those four games in charge at United but I'm a lot better qualified to manage now after those two years with Louis. That was a fantastic experience."
Critics have since claimed that he should focus on working his way up the ladder instead of merely expecting to be handed the keys to an elite club, but Giggs has now issued a vigorous defence of his own CV.
"I did an interview last week about my managerial aspirations and received some criticism because apparently I wasn't willing to manage at a lower level," he told Sky Sports.
"I didn't say anything at all about not managing at a lower level; I said because of my experience, I'd be more suited coaching at the level which I previously played and coached.
"My critic quoted Steven Gerrard saying, in his experience, footballers want to just do their UEFA C Licence and go straight into the job. I did my UEFA B Licence when I was 29, my A Licence when I was 35, my Pro Licence while I was still playing and I coached at Manchester United for three years - including managing four games - so I don't see the relevance.
"The argument that players who have been a success can't go into success is a non-argument. People use Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger but there are also countless examples of unsuccessful players being unsuccessful managers. It is all down to the individual.
"I played until I was 40 so I was doing my Pro Licence on a Saturday and Sunday, training on a Monday and Tuesday, doing more coaching and then driving back for Champions League games on Wednesday. To say I haven't put in the work is ridiculous."
Giggs, who has also previously proclaimed his interest in managing Leicester City and Everton, is currently co-owner of Salford City.