Valencia captain Dani Parejo says he has "felt alone" and even broken down in tears because of the pressure he has had to withstand during the club's difficult times in recent seasons.
Parejo scored a late penalty in Thursday's 2-1 home win over Alaves to secure Valencia's first points of the season, with the game coming just a couple of days after the dismissal of coach Pako Ayestaran.
"It was a difficult time to take a penalty but I like challenges and I'm delighted to have scored and taken three points," Parejo told Cadena Cope. "I knew that if I missed that penalty I would not come out of the Mestalla."
Parejo, who has started in all five games for Valencia this season, had received fierce criticism as his team lost its first four clashes.
He was also the subject of vitriol last term when the club had three different coaches -- Nuno Espirito Santo resigned last November and his replacement, Gary Neville, was sacked in March to make way for his assistant, Ayestaran.
Valencia finished 12th in La Liga and missed out on European football.
"I'm used to criticism," Parejo said. "Many tell me that I need to run more, that I don't give enough and that I'm a dog. Some tell me that I'm a dog when I'm walking on the streets with my family and it has reached a point that I don't care if they call me that. Those people don't love Valencia, they are not true fans.
"I have given everything for the club, for the coaches that we have had. We went 12 games without winning under Nuno and every Sunday I stood there to face the music and defend the coach. Yet I was the one to receive criticism."
When asked if the club had supported him, he said: "I never got a call to see how I was. I felt alone. I have cried several times with my wife about the situation."
Parejo, who joined Valencia in 2011 from Getafe, considered a change of scenery this summer after receiving an offer from Sevilla.
"An opportunity came along and I evaluated it," he said. "But my destiny was to remain at Valencia. I'm a professional and I train and run harder than anyone here. "