Roberto Mancini saluted his squad players after the Blues cruised into the FA Cup fourth round without nine regular starters.
Javier Garrido, Dedryck Boyata, Vladimir Weiss, and Benjani all stepped from the shadows to play vital roles in a comfortable 1-0 win at a freezing cold Riverside Stadium.
Boyata made his debut and Weiss only a second senior start and Mancini was pleased with what he saw.
“I have never been afraid of giving young players there chance in the side. It is important for us as a big club to know that we can rely on the younger players if we need them,” declared the City chief.
“Vladimir has shown what he can do in a couple of substitute appearances and Dedryck has been doing really well in training.
This was Dedryck’s first chance to shine at this level and I thought he did very well. The game will have given him confidence and helped him mentally to know that he is part of the squad
“For me both young players have bright futures and that is not just good for them but also the club. It is important to me and to the owners and to the fans as well that we continue to bring players through our Academy.”
The Italian admitted that his section for the game had been forced due to injuries and tired legs. The latest victim is Brazilian Robinho but he could be back in the running for Wednesday night’s visit of United.
“Robinho has a small problem with his groin but I think he will be ok for midweek. I hope so,” said the manager who now has three wins and three clean sheets to his credit.
A groin problem is what forced Micah Richards off at half time against Middlesbrough and he is now a doubt for the Carling Cup tie.
Mancini though was pleased with the afternoon’s work.
“I like cup football and I want to do well in the FA Cup as well as the Carling Cup,” he said.
“I was pleased with the performance from the team. I enjoyed it but most of all I want to congratulate our supporters for making the game thorough the bad weather and then giving us such great support. Seeing them so happy made the win even better.”