Macclesfield manager Steve King does not believe the Conference side's famous FA Cup victory over Cardiff was diminished by the Championship leaders fielding a weakened side.
King guided the Silkmen to a thrilling 2-1 win at Moss Rose on Saturday, with Matthew Barnes-Homer scoring twice in the final two minutes to secure a memorable comeback.
"They will be in the Premiership next year, all these players are on contracts, there are million-pound players out there playing, there are players who have played first-team games," King said.
"The manager was still there and those players are going to want to prove a point to him, so sometimes it is harder to play against the young, hungry ones."
Although Cardiff are seven points clear at the top of the second tier, King reckons his side deserved the win. "They had two chances probably in the whole game," he said.
"One that they scored from when they cut us open, but we dominated most of the game and they had one long-range effort after they scored – I think we thoroughly deserved to win the game.
"This group of players, regardless of whatever happens this season, have made history at the football club, in 140 years they have never been in the fourth round of the cup so a little bit of history was made."
Barnes-Homer's late goals were arguably the story of a memorable third-round day. The 26-year-old former Luton striker has had a nomadic career that included a move to Ostersunds in Sweden last year.
"He is of a very good age and I sat down with him in the summer and kept in touch with him when he was in Sweden," King said. "I just kept talking and got into him in a way where he would give everything for you. He has scored important goals." None ever likely to be as historic as Saturday's.