Aidy Boothroyd has reassured Colchester fans over Kevin Lisbie after the striker started Saturday's game against Gillingham on the bench.
Lisbie is currently on loan at Colchester from Ipswich but his long-term future has been the subject of speculation in recent weeks.
Southampton have been credited with an interest and Lisbie admitted last week he would be open to the idea of moving to St Mary's.
Boothroyd then decided to leave the 31-year-old out of his starting line-up at the weekend, only bringing him on for the final 16 minutes.
The Colchester manager insists he did not drop Lisbie for his comments about Southampton and was simply giving him a rest.
"I'd like to be manager of Real Madrid but people don't have a go at me for that," he told the Green'Un. "Southampton are a big club and I'm thrilled he's ambitious.
"It's a long season, he's had a few knocks and at this time of year the last thing I want is to lose a player for a period of time.
"It was more a case of resting Kevin, rotating and looking at what we thought might be successful against them."
Boothroyd has been busy trying to strengthen his squad during the transfer window and he hopes to bolster his midfield options before the deadline.
Asked if there would be any more arrivals, Boothroyd said: "Possibly. I've hit the post a lot of times with a couple of things, but I'm possibly looking at bringing in another central midfield player.
"With the pitches the way they are and the games coming up thick and fast, I think it's important we get some depth."