Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has insisted that the Johnstone's Paint Trophy remains an important competition for him.
The Blades made nine changes to their side for their first-round tie at Hartlepool United on Tuesday evening, which they eventually won on penalties.
Adkins has said that his team selection did not show a lack of respect for the competition.
"The rules are very complex," he told the Sheffield Telegraph. "I was speaking to the Football League before the game and with Jose [Baxter] suspended, a few injuries and a host of lads away on international duty, our options were really limited.
"It's unfortunate but, from my point of view, it's all about winning a game of football. We have to do what is right for Sheffield United but we're incredibly respectful of the tournament; the last time I was in it, I took Scunthorpe to the final.
"So I know very well the benefits a good run in this competition can bring."
Adkins guided Scunthorpe United to the final in 2009, where they lost to Luton Town.