Port Vale manager Rob Page says some of his players are unable to play two games in quick succession after they lost both of their Easter fixtures.
Vale were without Michael O'Connor in Monday's loss at Rochdale as Page said he was not fit after playing on Friday.
"He can't play two games in a short space of time and if he had been capable of doing it, then he would have played," Page told BBC Radio Stoke.
"I have done it before and he blows up after 10 or 15 minutes," he added.
Page used that as his reasoning for playing midfielder Tommy O'Sullivan as an alternative to O'Connor.
"I work with these players every week and what I get from them is 'can they play two games in a short space of time', and the answer to that was no," added Page.
"Tom Pope is carrying two or three little knocks and, again, he is one of my players who is not going to be able to play two games in three or four days."
Vale are 16th in League One but are just two points from the relegation places following six straight defeats.
"Of course the fans will doubt us as we've lost six on the bounce and they've got every right to, but I don't manage the lads thinking we're going to lose games of football," said the former Wales international.