Ralph Hasenhüttl hailed Southampton’s squad effort after registering a fourth successive home win to oust West Ham in the Emirates FA Cup.
The boss made nine changes to his side, but made full use of the five substitutions rule, and Saints got stronger as the game went on.
A 30-yard thunderbolt from Romain Perraud followed by second-half goals from James Ward-Prowse from the penalty spot and Armando Broja’s mazy run clinched a 3-1 victory.
“Very pleased,” Hasenhüttl said of his Saints’ progression to the quarter-finals. “I think in the end we deserved to win today, we showed some good parts in our game, beautiful goals we scored and in the second half we had more to give.
“With every sub we made we were getting better, and this was the plan today.
“We knew their biggest strength was set-pieces and today we haven’t been the biggest team, physically, but we tried to keep them away from our goal.
“We knew that we always have the chance to play through the lines and create chances, and I think we did it in a good way.”
On the nine changes, Hasenhüttl spoke of the importance of trusting his squad – not just the regular starters in recent league games.
“You cannot speak about trust and then not show it. This is the problem you have – you are not honest as manager,” he explained.
“Yan Valery, centre-back today – fantastic performance. Jack (Stephens), also fantastic. We have alternatives and I must give them the chance because it can be that next week suddenly somebody is injured and then I need everybody.
“When you never play, you cannot be surprised if you are not performing when you suddenly get the chance to do it, so everybody must wait for the moment and he will get it, and then we are a team. In the moment, we are a team.”