Stoke manager Tony Pulis has responded to frustration in his side by insisting he makes his team selections for the good of the club.
Midfielder Glenn Whelan began to question his long-term future at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday after making just three Premier League starts this season.
Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh, meanwhile, have recently joined Championship side Preston on loan having found first-team opportunities limited.
Pulis understands his players' frustrations but insists he does not want to let Whelan go, while also dismissing speculation that Eidur Gudjohnsen is set for a loan spell at Reading having suffered with fitness problems since joining the Potters in August.
"We have just let Michael Tonge and Danny Pugh go out on loan to Preston because they are desperate to play," said Pulis.
"Players want to play games and you have to understand and recognise that.
"It is very difficult for players to be sat on the sidelines week in, week out.
"Glenn has played a great part at this football club and we don't want him to go.
"I understand the situation he is in and the way he is feeling - that is really the right way to be."
And on rumours of Gudjohnsen heading to the Championship for a brief loan stint, Pulis added: "It's the first I've heard of it."
The Potters have secured back-to-back victories over Birmingham and Liverpool in the last week after a run of five successive defeats, but Pulis insists even the players who put together those much-needed wins are not assured a place against West Brom at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
"I'll pick the team that I think will win at West Brom, irrespective of whether I pick a couple of players and they are not too happy with it," he added.
"If I feel it is right then I will do it."