Arsene Wenger stood by his team selection following Arsenal’s EFL Cup exit against Southampton.
Wenger made 10 changes for the quarter-final tie at the Emirates Stadium, where the Saints won 2-0.
The hosts struggled without Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, who is nursing a hamstring problem.
But Gunners boss Wenger argued his decision to rest key players was not the determining factor in the outcome of the game.
“I don’t think the problem was there. We had players who are used to top-level competition, but I think we didn’t have the right urgency from the start,” Wenger said at his post-match press conference.
“I think we have played well until now and when you look at the players who have played tonight, some of the players who didn’t play tonight were on the edge.
“When you look at the team we played, in midfield we had Coquelin, Ramsey, Elneny, afterwards Xhaka.
“Up front we had Perez, Giroud was injured. We had Iwobi, who is a regular player in the first team.”
Arsenal fans showed their frustration at the final whistle, when many booed.
But Wenger dismissed suggestions that expectations among the supporters are too high.
“They never expect too much – it’s down to us to give them what they want,” he said.