Luiz Felipe Scolari brushed aside Chelsea's injury problems after seeing his side do just that to Middlesbrough.
The Brazilian headed for the Riverside Stadium with a collection of world stars remaining behind in the treatment room and some of his so-called lesser lights having to step up to the plate.
But after watching his side thrash Boro 5-0, Scolari said: "Saturday was fantastic for us because I had some players who have not played many games and they showed to me and to the people that they are in good condition to play for Chelsea."
He added: "This is a group, this is a team, it is not only 11 players, and that is what I want.
"If Chelsea bought these players, if Chelsea think those players are good, why should I be afraid if one or two players are missing?
"I have confidence in these players. It sends a message to me - 'I am here, I want to play for Chelsea, I have ability, please look at me'."
Scolari was at pains not to get too carried away, and insisted his players still have much to learn.
He said: "All the time, we have to improve and learn lessons if we want to get better. That's life."
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