Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says the way he is treating midfielder Juan Mata is "hurting" him.
Mata - who has been voted the club's Player of the Season twice in a row - has been frequently left out of the side so far this season and was visibly annoyed after being substituted in the recent win at Southampton.
But Mourinho feels he is doing it for the best of the team and he said: "I try to do my job forgetting I have a soft heart, pretending that I have a hard heart. Many times it hurts me, not just with Juan, over the decisions I have to make.
"But I think to do my job in the best way is to do it thinking the team is more important than any player.
"When I have to make decision I always try to be a cold one, icy, analyse situation and try to make the best decision for the team, maybe not forgetting the player but putting the person secondary.
"But yes, it hurts me. He's a good kid, he works hard and I know it's not easy situation for him not to be playing every time."
There has been intense speculation surrounding Mata recently after Mourinho claimed the door was open if he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge three days ago, however he has retracted that now and wants the player to stay.
"If he came to me and said he wants to leave, I would say, 'Go to Stamford Bridge and speak with the board.' And while he was on his way there, I'd call the board to say 'Don't let him go!" Mourinho exclaimed.
Mata could feature when Chelsea travel to Derby in the FA Cup Third Round tomorrow, and it is a competition for which Mourinho harbours great affection.
It was the last trophy he won in his previous spell in charge of the Blues and he feels the Fa Cup means a great deal to both himself and the club.
He said: "I have a big feeling for the FA Cup.
"I remember being a kid, when we had a black and white television and there wasn't live football every day, that as a family we waited for the Cup Final.
"So I remember Coventry in 1987. Wimbledon in '88. Coventry I remember because I was with them. I was with the underdog.
"Then, working with Mr Robson, he always spoke about big things in English football and tradition of FA Cup which gave me that feeling. And when I came here and played at Stamford Bridge against some smaller teams, who played from the first minute without any fear, trying to win, bringing 10,000 fans to support them.
"That's unique. Every match a big one. It's a great competition."