Carlos Carvalhal was left ruing Sheffield Wednesday’s mounting injury list after they bowed out of the Capital One Cup at the quarter-final stage.
Defenders Jack Hunt, Glenn Loovens and Tom Lees were all forced off with knocks in their 2-0 defeat at Stoke City.
The Owls, who had previously knocked Premier League sides Newcastle United and Arsenal out of the competition, went into the tie without half a dozen players through injury.
“I wished we had played in different conditions and had all our players fit,” Carvalhal said.
“It was very difficult for us during the game because Tom had to go off and we had concerns over three other players at half-time.
“It was not easy for us to move the players [into different positions] during the game. It was very hard for me to lose those players. Tom and Jack had problems. Lucas Joao, Ross Wallace and Glenn finished with problems.
“Even with those problems, we tried to put more players in the attack.”
The Wednesday head coach had no complaints over the final scoreline: “We played against a very strong team; Stoke had more of the ball and deserved to win,” he admitted.
“Our goalkeeper didn’t have to do too much.
“We showed a reaction in the second half. We believed we could get back into it but their second goal finished the game.
“We put on another striker and all the players who could create damage. I am unhappy that we are out of the competition but I must congratulate Stoke.
“Now we must discuss our main competition which is the Championship. We have an important game on Sunday [against Derby] and I’m sure we will be strong.”
More than 4,600 fans cheered on Wednesday at the Britannia Stadium and Carvalhal thanked them for their backing.
“They were amazing,” he said. “They were our best players again.”