Hull manager Steve Bruce is worried the early rounds of the Capital One Cup are becoming akin to a series of glorified friendlies.
Bruce's side were 1-0 winners over Huddersfield in Tuesday night's third-round clash at the KC Stadium, but it was an occasion that left Bruce uninspired.
Played out in front of fewer then 8,000 fans, the game made little or no impact as a spectacle as both sides left their first-choice players on the sidelines.
Bruce made nine changes from the side that defeated Newcastle at the weekend, Liam Rosenior and Stephen Quinn retaining their positions, while Huddersfield changed all 10 of their outfield players.
Nick Proschwitz at least took something from the game, grabbing his first goal of the season with a powerful finish in the 59th minute, but Bruce struggled to muster any enthusiasm.
"It was a comfortable evening for us but it was, if I'm being honest, like watching paint dry," he said.
"It was more like a friendly than a cup tie, but that's what the early rounds of the cup have turned into now; it's a shame but there you have it.
"There was no real cohesion to us, it was both managers throwing 11 bodies on the pitch really.
"Once you lose that cohesion there was no real tempo to it because of what it was."
Invited to seek any positives other than progression to the last 16, Bruce looked to the game time he was able to give some of his fringe players.
"The good things were that Gedo got a run-out and Stephen Quinn got another hour under his belt after being out for a long time," he said.
"Abdoulaye Faye and Alex (Bruce) needed a game and Steve Harper did fine in goal.
"We were a bit unbalanced but it was a question of giving everyone a game."
Terriers boss Mark Robins seemed more engaged with the competition than his opposite number, despite adopting a similar selection policy.
Huddersfield are back in action of Friday when they host Blackpool, meaning Robins never felt able to consider putting out a full-strength side.
"It wasn't a brilliant spectacle I don't suppose. But this is a really good cup competition and an important one, make no mistake," he said.
"I wanted to go through, but needs must. It (rotation) is no disrespect to the cup - it's a necessity.
"Our priority is staying in the Championship. We have two games in a very short space of time...we recover on Wednesday, prepare on Thursday and play again on Friday.
"I'm disappointed. I wanted to win and we might have won if we'd been at our best.
"But history tells me that this team was the right way to go, even with the risk of not qualifying for the next round."