Glynn Snodin says that Preston North End had one eye on the fixture list when putting Bailey Wright on the bench for their win over Crawley Town.
The Australian centre-half had only previously missed one league game this season.
However, it was Jack King and Tom Clarke who got the nod to play at the heart of the back four in Saturday’s 1-0 victory.
PNE assistant boss Snodin (right) revealed that the fact Wright is on nine bookings had been a big factor in the decision.
One more yellow card before April 13 would see him hit by a two-match suspension.
Snodin told the Evening Post: “Bailey being on nine bookings of course came into our thinking.
“We want to make sure that we can go to Bristol City this weekend with everyone to choose from, whether we play two at the back or three.
“Jack and Tom did well for us on Saturday – they are solid defenders and can both play.
“When they’re on the ball they are comfortable with it and at set-pieces they are very dominant.”
The FA amnesty for yellow cards kicks-in on April 13, the day after North End entertain Carlisle at Deepdale. After that date, players who reach 10 cautions do not get the two-match ban, with the trigger point rising to 15.
It will be interesting to see if Wright is chosen for the Bristol City and Carlisle games.
A booking in either one would rule him out of the Good Friday trip to promotion rivals Brentford.
The performance of King and Clarke as a pair will have given Simon Grayson food for thought when it comes to choices at the back.
Preston boss Grayson can also call on Paul Huntington, a player who has not played in the side since January’s 3-2 win over Ipswich in the FA Cup.
North End are keen to give game time to all the players in their squad.
Alan Browne has come on as a substitute in the last two matches, and there was a first start since early February for Lee Holmes against Crawley.
Said Snodin: “In the last few games we had used Chris Humphrey’s pace down that right wing.
“On Saturday we decided we wanted two creative players on the sides in Paul Gallagher and Lee Holmes.
“I thought they did okay and created a few opportunities with crosses.”
PNE will be keeping a close eye on two games tonight which have a bearing on their automatic promotion chances.
Leaders Wolves travel to Stevenage, while Brentford face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
Wolves look to have got away at the top but Brentford are within reach.
The London side’s lead over PNE was reduced to five points at the weekend.