Carlo Ancelotti refused to guarantee Daniel Sturridge a run in the Chelsea side despite the striker's two-goal salvo in the holders' 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Ipswich.
Sturridge improved his remarkable record in the competition yesterday with his sixth and seventh goals in five starts after Ancelotti continued last season's policy of fielding some youngsters in the early rounds.
But perennial substitute Sturridge looks likely to be back on the bench for Saturday's Barclays Premier League game against Blackburn, along with Josh McEachran and Patrick van Aanholt, who also made rare appearances against Ipswich.
Manager Ancelotti said of Sturridge, who also netted five times for the reserves on Thursday: "He played well, scored, is a good player and a good striker, very dangerous.
"In the future, he'll have opportunities. We have a lot of games in this period coming up.
"I think he has to fight with the other strikers, but everyone has to fight. There are a lot of players in competition up front."