Andre Villas-Boas has expressed delight after Chelsea held their nerve to win last night's Carling Cup tie with Fulham 4-3 on penalties.
With the scoreline 0-0 at full time, neither side could score in extra-time and Bryan Ruiz’s miss sealed a win that allowed Chelsea to progress to the fourth round.
And Villas-Boas said that while the eventual penalty shoot out wasn’t in his plans for the match, the win will no doubt boost the Blues squad’s morale as they prepare to take on Swansea this weekend.
“We knew that if we went into extra-time we could be struggling because these players who have played today,” he said.
“A couple of them don't have many minutes played this season so straight away you go into a 120-minute situation which is difficult for the body, and that is why the win is special because they were able to cope with it and they were able to keep their discipline throughout.”
Chelsea were able to break two omens last night, with the side winning their second penalty shoot-out in nine attempts with just 10 men.
And Villas-Boas said he was made aware of the past bad luck as the game wore on, and is glad to have shaken it off.
He added: “That was made aware to me by my players and my players also told me that Chelsea have been out of the Carling Cup with 10 men all of the time. So in one stroke we break two bad omens and that is good for us.”
The Blues manager was full of praise for his stalwarts, but reserved special praise for youngster Oriol Romeu, who received his first competitive start for the side.
“Paulo Ferreira had a fantastic game, David Luiz had a fantastic game, Florent Malouda had an incredible game of running 120 minutes and Frank Lampardthe same when he came on,” Villas-Boas added.
“Oriol Romeu had an amazing game too. His ability to receive the ball is something out of this world, its extraordinary his comfort with the ball, receiving it straight from the goalkeeper under pressure.
“You saw that led eventually to a ball loss but that is the risk you take when you build from the back.
"It shows that the school where he is from is fantastic and shows that he can play in the Premier League. It is a pity for Josh McEachran that he came off early because he was having a good game as well."