LEON Johnson was rested against Sheffield Wednesday to avoid a defensive headache.

Another booking for the centre half would have led to him being suspended for tomorrow's trip to Notts County, and with James Tunnicliffe having an operation to cure a groin problem on Monday it would have left Gary Waddock with Dave Winfield and youngster Anthony Stewart as his only available central defenders.

Tunnicliffe played against Wednesday but will now be out for a fortnight after his operation.

Waddock said: "Johnno had four bookings and I had to try and manage that situation because we knew Tunny was going in for an op on the Monday. If Johnno picked up a yellow on Saturday we would have missed Johnno for this game coming up.

"I try to think about things and look ahead, and I think that was the right thing to do for that game. Tunny did well in the game as well."

The Blues boss said he would have no problems with putting Stewart, who has yet to make his first appearance for the first team, on the bench tomorrow after seeing the impact some of the youngsters have had this season.

He said: "He's done very well. I've been pleased with his progress. Centre half is a bit different to, say, a wide player or a young centre forward. It's a very important area of the team."