Markus Babbel defended his decision to take off Alexander Baumjohann at a crucial time in Western Sydney's 3-1 defeat to Sydney FC.
The coach decided to take off the player who had had a big influence up to that point, when he needed to send on a substitute keeper in the derby at ANZ Stadium.
Vedran Janjetovic had been dismissed for handling the ball outside his area, leaving Babbel needing to take off an outfield player in order for debutant Danijel Nizic to take over between the uprights.
Western Sydney had been ahead at that point, but though it was widely seen by fans as too-defensive move to substitute the attack-minded Baumjohann the home side went on to ship three goals.
Speaking of his decision after the game, Babbel said: "Alex is a fantastic footballer and I feel really really sad for him because he's one of our best players.
"But in this moment, for me it was clear we need legs now and we have to defend more than to attack. And Alex is a fantastic player offensive-wise, but defensive is not his biggest strength, so I have to make that decision."
As far as the Wanderers coach is concerned, what cost his team as they slumped to a fifth-straight loss to their derby rivals was the team's frail mentality.
Babbel said it would have been easier for him to accept if the goals they conceded to the Sky Blues had been well struck from outfield play.
The fact they conceded twice after the break from set-pieces didn't sit well with him as a former defender, he admitted.
"We are not hungry in this moment; we don't see the danger in this moment," he added.
"[So] we don't have to be surprised if you lose this game, because this is a good side."
Western Sydney are 11/4 to win their next game against Adelaide, who are 10/11 with the draw 11/4.
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