Pitso Mosimane has defended his selection tactics after Al Ahly's 100% win record in the Egyptian Premier League this season came to an end.
The reigning African champions dropped points for the first time in the domestic top-flight this season after being held to a 1-1 draw away to Future FC on Boxing Day.
That result came on the back of Ahly fielding a rotated squad, with the likes of Ali Maaloul, Karim Fouad, and Mahmoud Waheed all missing out, but Mosimane stressed that it was a necessary decision to have made.
"We fought for a win tonight," the former Mamelodi Sundowns boss said, per KingFut.
"Al Ahly players have a very busy schedule, nine players were with the Egyptian national team in the Arab Cup before playing against Raja Casablanca a couple of days after.
"We are only humans, we have a strong team and we tried to achieve another victory tonight, but we were up against a well-organized team that used counter-attacks.
"A lot of my players will be participating in the Africa Cup of Nations, and directly after, we will have to compete in the Club World Cup."
Despite Sunday's result, Al Ahly have retained their position at the summit of the league standings where they are currently level on points with nearest rivals and reigning champions, Zamalek, with a game in hand.
Scroll through the gallery to see Al Ahly's all-time leading goalscorers at the Club World Cup