Dean Smith insisted Harlee Dean did not deserve a place in Brentford’s side to play Nottingham Forest.
Smith’s team were beaten 4-3 at Griffin Park, where Dean was left on the substitutes’ bench as Andreas Bjelland partnered John Egan at centre-back.
Ryan Woods was absent for personal reasons, while Smith decided not to include Dean, who featured in the EFL Cup against AFC Wimbledon in midweek having been suspended for last Saturday’s league opener at Sheffield United.
There is uncertainty over the future of the former Southampton defender, who is now in the final year of his contract.
Bees boss Smith said this week that Dean would not be given the captaincy back unless he signed a new deal.
And he had no regrets about leaving Dean out for the Forest game.
“Harlee played on Tuesday and I thought he did okay. I didn’t think the two centre-halves last week deserved to be left out,” said Smith.
“Harlee didn’t do enough for me to start him in the game and the other two didn’t deserve not to start.”
Smith insisted his team deserved better against Forest, describing the defeat as “surreal”.