Lincoln City manager David Holdsworth insists Josh Gowling has a future with the Imps after he was left out of Saturday's 2-0 defeat by York City.
Recent posts on Twitter by club captain Gowling have added to speculation about a rift between him and Holdsworth.
But Holdsworth told BBC Lincolnshire: "We've had a lot of losses and you have to change your defence sometimes.
"I judge people on their training mentality and I felt the other boys deserved their place."
Defender Gowling, who joined Lincoln on a two-year-deal in the summer of 2011, was left out of the matchday squad for the Blue Square Bet Premier match against the Minstermen at Sincil Bank, with new signings Robbie Williams and Karlton Watson preferred in central defence.
Holdsworth said: "I'm not making any judgements on anybody. I left Simon Russell out [of Saturday's match] and he has a future at the club, likewise Jake Sheridan.
"I have the benefit of watching them train. I have to make the decisions and I was pleased with the partnership at the back."