Adrien Rabiot simply lost his place at Paris Saint-Germain but "nothing broke" between the midfielder and Thomas Tuchel, according to the coach.
Rabiot, 23, is seemingly headed for a PSG exit, having reportedly turned down an extension to his contract, which runs until the end of the season.
Sporting director Antero Henrique blasted Rabiot earlier in the week, claiming he misled the team, while Rabiot's mother, who serves as her son's agent, said there was no going back after the dispute.
Tuchel later confirmed to Goal that he accepted the club's decision to suspend the midfielder, despite his affection for Rabiot.
"Nothing broke between us but there is a lot of competition between the players here," he said.
"In my opinion, Adrien lost some confidence and his place because also Julian Draxler took his chance. The team played well, we won.
"It is difficult and that's why every game is important. Every player needs to perform at every game, every training session.
"They need to show that they are ready to win."
PSG are 10 points clear atop Ligue 1 ahead of hosting 13th-placed Nantes in their final match of 2018. They will be without star man Neymar for the clash, as he remains in Brazil recovering from an injury with the club's blessing.