JIMMY Abdou said there was "no excuse" after Millwall were knocked out of the EFL Trophy by Wycombe on Wednesday night.
Lions boss Neil Harris made eight changes to the side that had beaten Braintree in the second round of the FA Cup, and lost 3-1 after Fred Onyedinma had missed a second-half penalty before Garry Thompson grabbed a late double.
Abdou believes the competition was important this season as it was an opportunity for game time for players on the fringes of the first team.
"The fans may think they're not big games because you're playing against U23s, but it's still our club and they're good games to play in and watch as well," Abdou said.
"For the players who aren't playing and the younger ones to get involved, it's good for them. I think it was a good thing.
"You want to play every game but this year I've had to be patient. I played Wednesday and tried to do well.
"It's always hard when you're not playing but as a professional you have to be ready when the gaffer needs you. You have to respond.
"There is no excuse, we are professionals and we have to try to win every game. We played to win the game, we're at home and we came to win, no more than that. We lost it and we don't try to find any excuse.
"No one blames Fred, he played really well again. I'm sure he's going to score again, he'll learn from that."
Focus now turns to the home league clash with Shrewsbury on Saturday as Millwall chase a place in the top six.
Abdou said: "After we missed out on promotion last year we don't want to expect lower than that. We want to do better than last season. We're still in the mix to push for the play-offs. Personally, I want to be promoted.
"It's going to be hard but we have to fight for it."
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