Steve Bruce admits he had no choice but to take a gamble with the fitness of some of his players against Leicester City.
Bruce was even left with a decision to make in who should come off at half-time with both DeAndre Yedlin and Jonjo Shelvey reporting back hurt with two subs already used.
Bruce now has 10 out of 22 outfield players missing through injuries.
He said: “Look, I said it a month ago that to ask players to play four games in 10 days is, for me, ludicrous and unfortunately, the Leicester game is the consequence of that.
“I didn't have the bodies to change because we had four or five missing anyway, so it's been difficult.
“But look, I don't want to make excuses, it is what it is.”