Rudi Garcia has defended his decision to replace Joe Cole during Lille's 2-1 defeat by Inter Milan on Wednesday.
With 19 minutes of a crucial UEFA Champions League encounter remaining, the French tactician hauled Cole off and replaced him with Dimitri Payet.
Lille were able to pull one goal back following the switch, but ultimately left Giuseppe Meazza empty-handed.
It has been suggested that Garcia should have been more adventurous in chasing the game and left Cole on, but he claims the England international was showing signs of tiredness.
"Why did I substitute Joe Cole? We were 2-0 down and we had to get another attacking player on the pitch," he said.
"I believed that Dimitri Payet was capable of scoring a goal and reducing the deficit.
"Joe seemed to be more tired than some of the other players."
Defeat in Italy has left Lille bottom of Group B with just two points to their name.
They are, however, still in the running to make the last 16 and Garcia will not be giving up on that dream until it is mathematically impossible for his side to progress.
"The good news is that Trabzonspor and CSKA Moscow drew," he said.
"It won't be easy to get a win in Moscow, but we are fortunate to have the opportunity to still qualify. Maybe it is fate."