Leon Osman has conceded Everton asked too much of young stars Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling during their injury crisis earlier this season.
The promising duo were thrown into the Everton side in the early part of the season due to a crippling casualty list at Goodison Park.
The pair have been given a breather in recent months, but they both made massive contributions in the win over Manchester United by climbing off the bench to score late goals.
Osman believes the break has done Rodwell and Gosling good and that they have the quality to become key players for Everton.
"Everyone knows about our injuries at the start of the season and probably a bit too much was put on these young lads' shoulders too early," said Osman.
"It is good that they have been able to have a break and take a bit of a step back.
"Once you do that, you see what quality players they are."
Everton have recovered from a slow start to the season and are in the mix for a top-six finish, with Osman admitting their injury problems have held back their progress this term.
"The injuries did handicap us at the start of the season," added Osman.
"It made it really difficult for us with the amount of games that we had. But you can't look back. Things happen and you have to get on with it.
"There is no point worrying about what might have been or we will lose sight of what is to come. We need to concentrate on that from now until the end of the season and hopefully we can get something out of it."