Powell made five changes to the side which beat Watford on New Year's Day, but the move did not pay off as Huddersfield ran out 1-0 winners at The Valley.
"I wanted one or two players to show me that they were ready to play a part for us this season," he said.
"Of course it's been a hectic period and I thought it was wise to look at the bigger picture.
"But the bigger picture is we should have those cup games incorporated into our season to make it an exciting season. That hasn't happened.
"Of course we want to do well and stay in the Championship. It is a tight league. We know that's our priority, but I see the cup as a priority, enough from the 11 that I chose to do enough to get us through.
"Obviously you have to apply yourself and do it, and it just didn't happen."