Carlos Corberán says he was pleased with Albion’s second-half showing at Stoke but accepted the manner of the Potters’ winner was something the squad had spoken about avoiding.
The Baggies bowed out of the Carabao Cup at the bet365 Stadium after Andre Vidigal slotted beyond the reach of Josh Griffiths with 25 minutes remaining.
The goal arrived less than two minutes after Brandon Thomas-Asante’s equaliser in Staffordshire, with the hosts reclaiming possession in a dangerous area of the pitch and punishing Corberán’s side.
The boss said he was disappointed to see Albion concede so soon after finding a route back into the first-round tie, but also stressed the importance of valuable minutes for a number of first-team players.
Carlos said: “When you have the target to create a competitive team and a competitive squad, you cannot do this with just 11 players.
“I wanted to see more players in the team who we want to be able to compete in the league.
“The fact we only started two players tonight from Saturday’s game shows we need more players to be ready to compete at any moment in the season in any scenario. We know we are going to need everyone this season.
“The target was to go for it and to try and win the game, with the idea of adding more players who will be ready to compete in the team for the league.
“Unfortunately we didn’t achieve the result that we wanted to achieve, but we are ready to now add more players to the league competition which was also a target of ours.
“I don’t think we showed enough of our level in the first half. They were dangerous in attack and we couldn’t create many things in attack, but in the second half the team was much better.
“We then went and scored our goal, and I think before our goal, we were very dominant.
“We were trying to find ways to adapt to the game and create opportunities. We tried to put the ball in the attacking half a lot more and we tried to create a lot more things.
“Unfortunately, we lost the ball in one individual action and they recovered it in a dangerous area and went and scored the winner, which is disappointing.
“They counter-attacked us and we knew they’d be dangerous from those situations and we had spoken about it. We wanted to avoid it, but in football unfortunately you can’t always do so.
“Tonight, we have got more minutes in the legs of some of the players who we needed to, such as Erik Pieters, Kyle Bartley and John Swift.
“We know we’ll need all the players in the best condition this season.”