Portsmouth assistant manager Joe Jordan has defended the decision to drop the club's leading goalscorer Kanu for Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Manchester United.
The Nigerian striker was omitted from the starting line-up at Old Trafford as Pompey boss Harry Redknapp adopted a cautions approach against the Premiership leaders.
But, after finding themselves two goals down inside the opening ten minutes, Redknapp's plan of flooding the midfield and playing Benjani Mwaruwari as a lone striker appeared to have backfired.
"I think the fact we were playing a new back four made us want to give them a little bit of protection in the middle," Jordan told the Portsmouth News.
"We wanted an extra man in midfield, and to use Benjani's energy up front.
"Whether it would have worked or not, I don't know. It would have been nice to have judged it if we'd been able to keep a clean sheet in the first 20 minutes.
"But I don't think you can look at it and say it worked or it didn't work. We committed an error in the third minute that led to their goal and that makes it hard to try to analyse the system we played."