( AFP ) - Avram Grant insisted there was nothing behind his decision to leave Ashley Cole out of Chelsea's squad for their 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win at Wigan.
The England left-back has been the subject of numerous tabloid stories about his private life in the last week and was not included in the Blues' 16-man squad for the game at the JJB Stadium.
Chelsea officials insisted the player was 'rested' but Grant, who selected Wayne Bridge instead, was adamant that his decision was purely a football one.
He said: "We have two of the best left-backs in England. Sometimes when Ashley plays, Wayne Bridge is not in the squad and when Wayne is playing, Ashley isn't in the squad.
"I don't like too many defenders on the bench because the squad is very short. He was available."
Nicolas Anelka, who joined in a 15 million pound move from Bolton, scored one and set up another for Shaun Wright-Phillips and the Blues held on despite a late goal from Wigan's Antoine Sibierski.
Grant's side have now won eight matches in a row and he feels the addition of Anelka was never a gamble.
He added: "He is a proven striker. He isn't someone who is unknown, he's scored a lot of goals before now and I am sure he will score a lot of goals for us.
"Now we need him more than any time because we are very short and he is the only striker we have. He did a good job against Everton (when Chelsea won 1-0 in midweek to reach the League Cup final) even if he didn't score but against Wigan he did a good job."
Wigan manager Steve Bruce believes he still has some transfer business to do before Thursday's transfer deadline.
The Latics boss is still aware of Fulham's interest in his versatile Austrian player Paul Scharner but insists the London club have to improve their offer by some distance to have any chance of a deal.
But Bruce insists that striker Marlon King, who will be unveiled on Monday after joining from Watford, may not be the end of his additions.
He said: "I'd never say never about new signings. I'm delighted with who I have brought in and it was unfortunate Erik Edman injured his calf in Tuesday otherwise he would have made his debut.
"We have a bit of strength in depth now we have Marlon King here because he gives me cover up front.
"It's the funny season and it went mad last week. We've had lots and lots of enquiries but I think it is speculative half the time and I think some clubs are desperate.
"Fulham's offer for Paul Scharner is nowhere near enough to even tempt us at the moment. So they know what to do if they are serious."