Roberto Mancini praised his Manchester City side for battling through their FA Cup tie against Notts County.
City ran out emphatic 5-0 winners in their replay at Eastlands after the original tie finished 1-1, but it was far from easy to see off the League One side.
Karl Hawley struck the post for County before Patrick Vieira opened the scoring on 37 minutes to give City the edge after an evenly-contested first half.
Vieira then doubled the lead before late goals from Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards gave the scoreline a flattering appearance.
"In the first half an hour Notts County played very well," admitted Mancini, who felt the club's Europa League trip to Greece on Tuesday affected their performance.
"It was an important win. I think for us it (the FA Cup) is important.
"We started the game so slowly because when you play every three days it is difficult to play 100 per cent in every game.
"But after we scored it changed the game. We had more chances in the second half and it was important we scored those goals."
Vieira and Dzeko
The majority of Vieira's appearances have been in cup competitions but his two headers doubled his tally of goals for the season.
Mancini was pleased to see the 34-year-old making important contributions, while he was also happy with the progress of £27million January signing Dzeko - who should have scored a second in second-half injury-time but hit his shot too close to goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.
So far the former Wolfsburg striker has only scored against Notts County, he got the equaliser in the first meeting at Meadow Lane, but Mancini is happy to give the Bosnian time.
"Patrick played well, he scored two goals and I am happy for him as I am for Dzeko, because it is important for strikers to score," he added.
"Dzeko had three or four chances to score but I think Edin needs time as all players who play for the first time in England need time."
Mancini also dismissed speculation that summer signing David Silva was homesick and looking to move back to Spain.
"I didn't read these stories but someone told me this," added the Italian.
"Today he played very well but he has never spoken to me about this."