Elise Kellond-Knight says the Matildas processed the sacking of coach Alen Stajcic at the time and it wasn't a factor in their World Cup loss to Italy.
Senior Matildas have dismissed the notion that their coaching switch-up from Alen Stajcic to Ante Milicic is a pall over their World Cup hopes.
Australia's 2-1 loss to Italy has drawn out frenzied criticism of the team.
They now face a huge clash with heavyweights Brazil on Friday morning (AEST) in Montpellier, needing a result to ensure their qualifying fate stays in their hands.
There's plenty on the line - not least because of the expectation that comes with being a top-seeded nation at the World Cup for the first time.
But leaders Alanna Kennedy and Elise Kellond-Knight aren't willing to cop the idea that Stajcic's ousting is to blame for their first-up wobble.
"He's not in our camp. And his name isn't either," Kennedy said. "We don't let that sort of stuff creep into our camp, that's not our focus at all."
Kellond-Knight welcomed criticism of the team but scoffed at the suggestion Stajcic's dismissal was a black cloud that hadn't gone away.
"Who's it never gone away to?" she asked. "We dealt with that when it happened. We did take a week or two to process, a week or two at the time.
"We knew what we had to achieve at this World Cup and we didn't waste any time or emotions dealing with it over a long period of time.
"It's fair that the media speculate about this and look at our recent results. It's easy to jump to conclusions.
"But it's not on our mind at all. We're happy in the environment that we're in and we believe in what we're trying to achieve."
Stajcic was dismissed by FFA in January with the governing body alleging a toxic culture had developed over the side.
The 45-year-old, now in charge of A-League side Central Coast Mariners, considered his legal options in the wake of the ousting before reaching a legal settlement two weeks ago.
He received an apology from FFA deputy chair Heather Reid, on leave from the role as she fights cancer, but currently in France on a personally funded trip to the World Cup.
During the saga, Kellond-Knight said the team ringfenced themselves from the ructions and aren't going to let frenzied talk outside of their team bubble pervade their confidence.
"Within this environment, we're very happy with things, how they're progressing and we believe in what we're trying to achieve," Kellond-Knight said.
"(The Brazil game) is a must win, I'm excited. I'm the type of player who likes to play these big games. If it's going to be like a final I'm even more up for it.
"We're going for the win and putting it all out there, and the win's going to also settle the media out there.
"It will hopefully shut them up a little bit."