Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade admitted their League 1 promotion campaign took priority and played a major part in his team selection during the 4-0 FA Cup defeat to Yeovil Town.
The O's left influential striker Kevin Lisbie on the bench as the East Londoners slumped to their biggest defeat of the season. Orient face a crucial trip to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday night and the manager did not look too disappointed to be out of the cup.
Slade said: "That's why I had to make big and difficult decisions. At 2-0 down you're not going to bring Kevin Lisbie on. If we were still in the game we might have brought him on for 20 minutes but we don't want to risk that when the pitch is like a pudding.
"It's an awful pitch and obviously I rested Lloyd [James] and Mathieu Baudry who had a few stitches in a head injury so I've done my best to protect the group."
Orient started the cup tie brightly but an early James Hayter header put Yeovil in front and three second-half goals sealed the win.
Slade said: "It was a little bit mixed really. I thought we started the game quite brightly and obviously with our lack of front men available from the start today we went with the 4-5-1.
"I thought we knocked the ball around quite well. The goal came against the run of play and was an unfortunate mistake from Jake Larkins in goal. We rallied around and it was still 1-0 at half-time but the second goal was a bit of a killer really.
"The last goal you can ignore because he [Kieffer Moore] was several yards offside but it doesn't matter really whether it's 2-0 or 4-0. It's an FA Cup tie and they deserved to go through on the day."