STEVE Lomas insisted he would not over-stretch his small squad for the sake of winning pre-season friendlies after Millwall's 3-0 defeat to Brentford.
The Lions boss utilised four trialists and two youngsters from the club's development squad against the Bees, and admitted afterwards that the number of substitutions he made led to a "disjointed" performance.
But with Liam Trotter (knee), Shane Lowry (thigh) and Lee Martin (knee) already recovering in the treatment room, Lomas felt he could not afford to give any of his players 90 minutes at Griffin Park at the risk of picking up further injuries.
Free agents Lee Cook, Lee Croft, Nicky Shorey and John Paintsil all came on after half-time, with the score at 0-0, whilst Jake Goodman and Niall McManus also featured.
"The main aim was to give the boys 60 minutes but unfortunately when you are light on bodies you have got to bring in a few trialists," Lomas said.
"When you make so many changes in the second half, it becomes disjointed and we saw that. Having said that, we need to protect the players that are in the building.
"As we go along, and the team needs more minutes, there's less need for as many bodies. We want to get two or three in – it goes without saying that we need more signings and we're trying to make that happen."
Second-half goals from Sam Saunders, Paul Hayes and Stuart Dallas consigned Millwall to a resounding defeat in west London.
Lomas added: "The first half was okay – we could have passed the ball a little bit better. A little bit, but it's early doors.
"The defensive shape of the team was pretty good and we had a few half-chances. The main aim is to protect the players that are possibly going to start the season."