Stoke City No2 Dave Kemp insists Jermaine Pennant is not being frozen out.
Kemp said there was nothing unusual about Pennant's failure to even make the substitutes' bench for Stoke's last three league games.
"There are only so many slots on the bench and we already have one winger there in Matty Etherington," he told The Sentinel.
"If Jermaine was in and somebody else was out, people would then be asking why that person wasn't in.
"The fact is that Michael Kightly has done very well since joining us, while Matty came on and showed a return to his old form on Saturday.
"You've got to be adaptable in the modern game, and now we have enough players to be adaptable."