Ian Dawes praised his side's effort and commitment, but believes they lacked conviction, after their 2-0 loss to Fleetwood Town in the EFL Trophy.
The Tranmere boss was speaking after defeat in Rovers' opening group match of the competition.
"I thought the lads’ effort and commitment was there today. We knew it was going to be a tough task, we’ve picked up another couple of injuries. Tom Davies is struggling with his back and we’re hoping that will settle down in a couple of days, and Joe Yarney had a scan last night on his calf and fingers crossed that comes back okay.
"With the changes we made, I thought the lads attacked the game really well. The application was right and we tried to play the right way, we just lacked a bit of conviction in the final third.
"First and foremost, we came here to win a game. We haven’t rotated [the squad] or anything like that but at the same time we needed to have a look at some of them. Up until the final third we played some really good stuff at times, we just lacked a little bit of punch with not enough shots and crosses fired across goal.
"I thought Rob Apter did well today and we need to see how he can impact us. He was exactly what I expected, a little firecracker who can make things happen. He hasn’t played a full 90 since the second game of pre-season so he’s a little behind sharpness wise, but you could see his ability and he can make things happen in the final third.
"There are players who need to play, but it just sums it up that Paul Lewis had to come off after 15 minutes after he felt something in the back of his leg. But we’re not sitting here feeling sorry for ourselves, we’ve got to now go and prepare for Saturday back in the league."