Marcelo Bielsa admitted that Stoke City's aerial threat had entered his thinking ahead of Leeds United's Carabao Cup exit on Tuesday night.
The Whites fell to a 5-4 penalty defeat as Nathan Jones saw his side squander a two-goal lead at the half-time break.
United battled back into the tie through goals from Eddie Nketiah and Helder Costa after Danny Batth and Sam Vokes had earlier put the Potters ahead.
Central defender Batth met a Sam Clucas corner shortly before the interval to hand his side the advantage with a powerful header past Kiko Casilla.
The visitors were visibly stronger in the air with Bielsa choosing a relatively small inexperienced starting line-up for the second round clash.
The Argentine, though, admitted that the Potters threat from set-pieces had crossed his mind before the second meeting in just four days.
"I was thinking about this before the game," he said.
"And at the same time this fact had an impact on the game. Not only in this situation, but also in general because every set-piece they had in the first half created a problem for us."
Asked about whether he thought about changing his team to counter Stoke's threat, he said: "The aerial game depends on the quality of the skills that the players who head the ball have from one team and the other team.
"(Gaetano) Berardi is a very good player, but when you have a high difference, for example when a striker is complicated, it's hard to equal this challenge."
United are now preparing for a top of the table Championship clash with Swansea City this weekend.
Steve Cooper's men also boast a strong aerial threat with 4 of their opening 11 goals this season coming from headers.
Top scorer Borja Baston also poses a challenge for the United backline having bagged five goals this term, with two of his three strikes from open play coming through the air.