Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish hailed the attitude of his players after they gave him his 200th win in charge of the Reds by seeing off League One Exeter in the Carling Cup second round.
The 3-1 victory was inspired by a masterclass from Luis Suarez, with the Uruguayan volleying home the opener before teeing up Maxi Rodriguez and Andy Carroll in the second half as the visitors ran out comfortable winners at St James Park.
There was further good news for Dalglish as Martin Skrtel got through 90 minutes in his first action since returning from a calf problem, while Danny Wilson was an assured presence alongside him in defence.
And Dalglish was delighted to see his side show such application and avoid the fate of Premier League rivals Sunderland, Swansea, QPR and Norwich, who all bowed out to lower league opposition on Tuesday night.
He said: "Martin Skrtel got through the game no problem, Danny Wilson got 90 minutes, Andy Carroll got his first goal of the season and Maxi Rodriguez got a goal. We are quite happy we have gone through.
"The most pleasing thing was the attitude we had when we went on the pitch. If we didn't have that, we weren't going to win."
The only downside for Dalglish was the collarbone injury suffered by Raul Meireles early in the game.
The Portuguese midfielder was left clutching his shoulder after coming off worse in a challenge with Danny Coles, and his boss expects him to be out for "a few weeks".
"Raul has hurt his collarbone. I don't know what the technical term is but he fell heavily," he said.
"He will come back with us and we will see how long it is before he is back.
"We don't know how serious it is but it'll be a few weeks."
Paul Tisdale's side pulled a late goal back from striker Daniel Nardiello, who found the net from the spot after being brought down by a clumsy Skrtel challenge.
And the Grecians boss was happy with the effort put in by the League One club but acknowledged the class of their opponents.
"I am proud of the way we played and the boys can be pleased with what they showed and it was nice to get on the scoresheet," he said.
"I am more than happy with how we came back after a slow start and tried to play.
"We were expecting a strongish side and they had an extremely strong bench so we knew we didn't want to score too early in case they brought that bench on!
"The chance we had just before half-time was a really good chance and we had a couple of other chances but it is always difficult when you come up against players of that quality."Reuse content