Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd says that some of his squad players have given him something to think about with regards to team selection.
He made five changes to the team as the Cobblers beat MK Dons in their Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie.
Boothroyd told BBC Northampton: "It's very easy for [players out of the team] to sulk and blame the manager but the response was absolutely fantastic.
"Nobody is an automatic pick. Players pick the team."
He added: "The performance against MK Dons gave me a reminder that they're still here.
"And it gives the players who are in the side a reminder that if they're not at it, they'll be out. People will see I like settled teams, but I like settled teams that win."
Northampton next play AFC Wimbledon at Sixfields, looking to build on their win and two draws from four matches.
The five players who missed starting Tuesday's match - David Artell, Chris Hackett, Ben Harding, Luke Gutrridge and Alex Nicholls - are fully fit although John Johnson (shin) is a doubt.
"If players do their jobs and are consistent, then they will pick the team," said Boothroyd.
"I think Tuesday was a big step forward for everybody who played, not just [goal scorer] Jake Robinson. That's the quandary for me for Saturday - can they do it again?
"It might be [that I say to them] well done, I'm really impressed and just be patient. Or it might be [I say] it's time you had a little breather because you've not been performing as I expected you to.
"I'll have those conversations and then pick a team. But the gauntlet has been thrown down."