QPR boss Mark Warburton has insisted he was not trying to prove a point by selecting just four substitutes for the Carabao Cup tie against Oxford United.
Youngsters Stephen Duke-McKenna, Ody Alfa and Joe Gubbins were the only outfield players on the bench – and all of them came on.
Such a move is often interpreted as a manager signalling to a club’s owners that more players are needed.
But Warburton says illness has affected a number of players, while Jordy de Wijs picked up an ankle injury against Barnsley at the weekend.
Rangers youngsters were also involved in an Under-23 match hours before the Oxford game.
“There was no ‘statement’ going out. It’s not one of those ‘messages’ – far from it,” said Warburton.
“We had a bit of a sickness bug. We lost Sam (McCallum) and a few others.
“Charlie Austin played 90 minutes on Saturday and we had to look after him, and Jordy rolled the ankle on Saturday, so I had eight or nine missing.
“There was no ‘message’ or ‘statement’. There was just a very tough injury and illness situation.”