Darren Ferguson says he has no regrets about letting Richie Wellens and Rob Jones leave the club in January.
Ferguson turned to experience in the battle to beat the drop prior to the emergency loan window shutting by bringing in Tommy Rowe and Gary McSheffrey as replacements for injured teenage duo Conor Grant and Lynden Gooch.
But the Scot has stood by his decisions to release playmaker Wellens and defender Jones - re-emphasising that the former wanted to move on and the latter could not prove his fitness.
“I’ve no regrets in letting Richie go and letting Rob Jones go, in the sense that I’ve been completely consistent from day one,” said Ferguson.
“Richie wanted to leave before I got here.
“I understand the question because experience can play a part in these critical times at the end of a season, especially considering we are in a relegation fight.
“But with Richie he made it clear that he wanted to be closer to home, and with the emergence of Harry Middleton and the fact he [Wellens] wasn’t playing [it made sense].
“Football is very fickle and understandably so. Everyone agreed with that decision at the time, it’s as simple as that.
“I didn’t see many people not agreeing with it, even to the point that he came on against Shrewsbury and the fans booed him for whatever reason.
“Rob Jones was a lot simpler because the lad was never fit,” he added.
“In the whole time I was here, he was never fit.
“I would really have found it difficult for him to have any length of games for us because he just couldn’t get fit.
“He’s got fit now and he’s moved on, but again I felt that was the right thing to do because you can’t play someone if they’re not fit.
“He was getting to that stage [of being fit] but it was a large period of time he was out, and it was also before I came in.
“It was a common sense decision [to let him go].”
Wellens has since made ten appearances for a Shrewsbury side who sit 18th in the League One table and are looking nervously over their shoulders.
Jones made his comeback following three weeks out as a second half substitute for Hartlepool in their 2-1 win at home to Mansfield on Saturday.
On each of Jones’ three appearances for Pools, the north east side has claimed three points.