Rafa Benitez explains Daryl Janmaat's surprise omission from his Newcastle squad
Janmaat was left behind on Tyneside by Newcastle United's manager, whose side won 1-0 at Ashton Gate thanks to a goal from Dwight Gayle.
For the second successive game, Benitez fielded Vurnon Anita out of position at right-back.
Asked about Janmaat's absence, Benitez said: "I have to pick the best players for the game.
"In this case, I thought Anita did well the other day (against Reading), and I wanted to stick with him."
Janmaat said he would give "everything" for Newcastle in an interview with the Gazette last month.
But the right-back stopped short of committing himself to a season in the Championship.
And Janmaat was today linked with a move to West Ham United.
Benitez, for his part, is looking forward to having a settled squad to work with once the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
"I said before that August 31 can make a difference in terms of how we can approach the rest of the season," said Benitez, who handed Yoan Gouffran another start at Ashton Gate..
"It is difficult to have players who are in the transfer market or the newspapers.
"We were talking about whether Gouffran might maybe leave, so you have to keep him training as a professional.
"It is not easy to put the kind of effort onto the pitch that he has been doing. It will be important to get to August 31 and then regroup and see where we are."