Martin O'Neill felt Aston Villa's 2-1 victory at Scunthorpe United on Wednesday justified his decision not to rest his big players in the Carling Cup.
Many Premiership managers use the early stages of the competition to give young players a chance to experience first-team football, but O'Neill, who won the competition twice during his time in charge at Leicester City, believes that is the wrong approach.
The Northern Irishman selected his strongest available team at Glanford Park and got his reward when a Juan Pablo Angel brace booked Villa's place in the hat for the third round draw.
"I understand other managers who are in the Champions League or UEFA Cup, I'm not there to pick other managers' teams - there might be a stage over the next four or five years where it might change around," said O'Neill.
"But at this minute it's important for us to go as strong as we can, just to keep momentum going."
There was one negative to come out of the match, as midfield enforcer Gavin McCann picked up a calf injury which is likely to keep him out of Saturday's Premiership clash with Charlton Athletic.