The New Zealander emerged with his reputation enhanced, despite the criticism from some quarters, and although he has vowed not to take charge of the Lions again, he admitted that offering himself as a target is part of being a coach.
“Can you take pressure off your players by putting pressure on yourself and taking the heat on yourself?” he said. “No-one talks about the team or the players in that week.
“You’ve got to mix and match and do a few of those things, and that’s part of that role.
“You role is doing whatever you think is best for your team, whatever psychological advantage you might be able to get.”
After being appointed Wales coach in 2007, Gatland won Six Nations Grand Slams in 2008 and again in 2012.
He has said he will see out his current Welsh Rugby Union contract to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan, and has bullishly said he intends to sign off with Wales lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.