Rob Page has confirmed Joe Allen and Daniel James were both rested for Wales’ friendly contest with Finland.
The pair were both left out of the squad as the Red Dragons claimed a 0-0 draw in Helsinki.
But Page has stated that James and Allen were left out to give others the chance to impress ahead of the World Cup qualifying matches against Belarus and Estonia.
“We’ve got enough midfielders. Josh [Sheehan] coming on playing like he did was excellent so we didn’t need to risk Joe,” explained the head coach.
“It gives others an opportunity to come in and shine and show the public what they can do so there was no need to risk either player.
“DJ has had a stressful couple of days trying to sort things out with the clubs and his move, and with the stress his body’s been under, I didn’t want to throw him into that game, so it was more beneficial to keep them off their feet completely.”
READ MORE: Leeds United aim dig at Swansea City after completing £25m capture of Man Utd’s Daniel James
Gareth Bale was sent on with seven minutes remaining to win what was his 97th cap for Wales.
The Real Madrid star was seen limping after the full-time whistle was blown in Helsinki, although Page allayed fears over the condition of the 32-year-old.
“He’s fine. He just got a kick when they were chasing him, on his Achilles. But he’s fine,” stated Page.
Harry Wilson had a penalty saved in the goalless draw with Finland – a game in which Wales were without several other key players including Aaron Ramsey, David Brooks and Kieffer Moore.
But Page says he was pleased with the likes of Brennan Johnson, Dylan Levitt and Matt Smith who put themselves in contention for selection for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
“I think there’s a lot of positives to come out of it, I thought there were some big performances,” he said.
“Look at Jonny Williams who has played on the left wing for us, I asked him to play at right wing-back again and he gave a great account of himself.
“His attitude and endeavour to give a good performance and he looked like he enjoyed his football.
“I thought the two boys in midfield, Matty and Dylan were excellent. Josh coming on I thought was very good, Rubin [Colwill] and Tyler [Roberts] caused a constant threat and Brennan also. The one time he got one-on-one with the full-back he gets a penalty for us.
“So a lot of positives, a clean sheet, and more importantly, no injuries.”
Wales take on Belarus in Kazan at 2pm on Sunday before hosting Estonia at Cardiff City Stadium three days later.
For the latest football news and analysis delivered straight to your inbox, you can sign up for our newsletter here.