Leeds United head coach Thomas Christiansen offered a bleak sign to two fringe players last night by deciding not to even name them on the substitute's bench against Port Vale.
The Whites rotated their squad against the League One side for the EFL Cup game, handing debuts to summer signings Samu Saiz, Mateusz Klich, Caleb Ekuban and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
That was expected at this early stage of the season after a demanding Championship game at the weekend, but Christiansen had a choice to make when naming his substitute's bench.
He could have selected Marcus Antonsson and Souleymane Doukara, showing them they could have a chance of breaking into his first team, potentially appearing off the bench.
Instead the manager showed his determination win the game as a priority, selecting first choice attackers Chris Wood and Ezgjan Alioski on the bench to use if needed.
If Antonsson and Doukara cannot make the bench for a tie against Port Vale, then there is little hope for them making Christiansen's first team this weekend, or imminently.
Doukara being left out altogether from both the opening two squads this season is a little of a surprise.
Under previous bosses he has been in favour. Last season he scored six first team goals and made 17 starts, 34 appearances in total.