David Wagner has defended his Huddersfield Town team selection after his much-changed side went down to a 2-0 defeat at relegation threatened Birmingham City.
The home win was Harry Redknapp's first in charge of the club and only the third in 24 Championship games, lifting the Blues to 20th in the table and two points clear of the bottom three.
With Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest just below Birmingham heading into the final day of the season, Wagner has come in for criticism from many for what was perceived as a weakened side when the stakes were so high for other clubs.
“I selected this team to win this football match,” a defiant David Wagner said after the St Andrew's defeat.
“In the next four weeks we may need Joel Coleman and he needs a game in this sort of atmosphere.
“Similarly, Martin Cranie needs minutes as a centre back as Jon Gorenc Stankovic is out injured for the season so we may need him in that position.
“Every other change was because of freshness and to have the freshest group on the pitch.
“At Wolves I made five changes and everyone knows my rotation policy is part of my idea in a busy Championship.
“Changes were necessary as no one knows what will happen over the next month.
"It is unfair talking about my starting XI because I wanted fresh players.
“Opponent's managers who are threatened by relegation should not talk about my team selection.
“They should do their jobs over the whole season and then not have to worry about my team selection.”
All looked to be going well for Wagner's fringe players in the early stages before the side were undone by a number of defensive lapses.
On the game itself, David Wagner said: “We had enough good opportunities but didn't make the goalkeeper work and we gave chances away too easy.
“After the red card I think we controlled the game – we were patient and calm and created enough.
“We took the noise out of the crowd but then we made so many stupid fouls in the final third and the crowd came back in the game and they scored from a set piece.
"We were unable to break them down even when we had some good opportunities but we never hit the target and have to accept the result."
“In the end we only have ourselves to blame for this defeat because we weren't at our best.