Paul Lambert praised his side's excellent football performance in the 3-0 win over Rotherham.
Lambert was delighted with the application of his players but also their quality, characterised perfectly by the third goal scored by Fabian Delph.
Boss Lambert called that strike "top-class" but he was thrilled with the trio of goals and the overall display of his young warriors.
He said: "You have to earn the right to win a football match. I thought we carried where we left off in the last three games.
"I thought some of the football was excellent.
"The third goal pretty much epitomises the way we are playing at the minute.
"It was one-touch football and the finish was great. All the goals were top-class.
"But the third goal for the speed of it and the pass and move was excellent.
"Fabian deserved that goal because of the way he has been playing, absolutely. He has been excellent."
Lambert chose a strong team to take on the Millers for the second round encounter.
But he brushed off analysis of the line-up, insiting that it was just a side he thought would win the game.
He continued: "It was a team I picked that I thought would win a game.
"We had an enforced change with Antonio. I knew Jed could handle it and Matty has played a lot of games since he's been here.
"I changed it a bit from that point of view. Other than that, it was just a team I thought could win a game.
"I can't fault the lads for the week they have had. It's been pretty tough but we're playing really well."
Upbeat Lambert joked in his post-match press conference about the movements of his team over the next few days.
He added: "I might arrange another game! No I will give them a couple of days free and then they will come back in Monday and get going again.
"The squad is really together and strong. I trust them to go out there and perform. The last four games they have been excellent. We are playing really well."
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