Mansfield Town: Adam Murray told players to 'stay out of tackles' during loss
Mansfield manager Adam Murray said he told his players to "stay out of tackles" during Tuesday's defeat by Doncaster in the Checkatrade Trophy.
The first group game of the competition saw the Stags lose 2-0 to Rovers.
Kyle Howkins and Jamie McGuire picked up knocks ahead of Mansfield's next League Two match against Cambridge.
"It got to a certain point in the game where we were telling our lads to stay out of tackles and just let the game pass," Murray said.
"It is not competitive football, but my job is to get three points and get this team as high up in the league as I possibly can."
Mansfield are currently fifth in League Two, having won three of their first five league matches.
"Our priority is the league and we're down to 16 players," the 34-year-old explained to BBC Radio Nottingham.
"From the outside looking into this competition, you think we've got the half-big clubs and all these Under-23 teams in.
"They don't have to go and play for three points on a Saturday, they don't have to go and earn a living on the Saturday, where three points is life and death, it pays mortgages."