Neil Aspin said he had to make changes to his side as an under-strength FC Halifax Town lost 2-0 at play-off rivals Altrincham.
The Shaymen showed eight changes from the side that started against Guiseley at the weekend, but matched their full-strength opponents until second-half goals by Nicky Clee and Matt Doughty sealed the win.
The Town boss said a fourth place finish is not a priority, but was more concerned with giving his first-team regulars a well earned rest.
He said: “To be honest, it doesn’t matter if we finish fourth or fifth - my aim was to make sure the players who have played the majority of the games didn’t play tonight because I felt that after playing Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, they needed to put their feet up tonight and have a break.
“Tonight wasn’t a case of the result, it was a case of giving a game to some players who hadn’t played.
“I have to take the result on the chin. It was a big risk but I couldn’t really look beyond the fact that I had to rest the players. We had to make the changes.
“First-half I was very pleased and there wasn’t a lot in the game really. We didn’t make much going forward but we certainly restricted Altrincham to not many efforts on goal so the players have done well.
“But the main thing for me is that we’ve been able to give nine or ten lads a rest and then we can look at how we need to play them on Thursday and Saturday.”
Aspin was pleased with his side’s defensive display, with James Knowles impressing at centre-back before he was taken off with a head injury, and Liam Hogan making an assured return to action after recovering from the injury he sustained in the defeat to Harrogate last month.
The Town chief added: “We respect the ability of both lads up front for Altrincham, we know they can score a lot of goals, but I thought our defenders did well against them
“Credit to our lads at the back, they did a good job, especially in the first-half. They actually defended better than they did in the home game against them.
“It was a good workout for us. The result wasn’t vital but it was important that the lads who went out gave a good account of themselves.
“It wouldn’t have done to get well beaten at this stage but next week’s result is the important one.”