Uwe Rosler says he rested Bobby Grant for Fleetwood’s FA Cup defeat by Bristol City because he could not afford another midfield injury.
Grant had played in every league and FA Cup game this season until Tuesday’s replay, but Rosler’s medical team flagged up that the 26-year-old was an injury risk after playing another full match in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers.
Grant is expected to be back in the mix for Saturday’s trip to Coventry, with George Glendon also available after being ineligible for the 1-0 third-round defeat.
New defender Joe Maguire is also set to come into contention for his debut after signing from Liverpool last week.
As Town gear up for three games in eight days, away to Coventry and Sheffield United before Southend visit Highbury, boss Rosler insists he had to look at the bigger picture and make the sensible decision to rest Grant.
The head coach said: “Bobby was absolutely in the red zone. The medical team had flagged him up.
“He was very close to picking up injuries. He played very well in the first half against Bristol Rovers but in the second half he really had problems to last the game.
“He has played every minute and he never did that in his whole career. He has done that in a new position – a midfield role where he has to run more than he did up front. I think it was absolutely sensible (to rest him).
“I need to see the bigger picture as well. I need to see that there are still a lot of games left and I can’t afford our midfield situation to lose one more player to injury.
“That is why I gave young Jack Sowerby and Eggert Jonsson a run and they both did well.”