Paul Lambert insists Darren Bent remains an important part of his plans after he stepped off the bench to salvage a point in the 1-1 draw against West Brom.
Gabriel Agbonlahor partnered Christian Benteke up front but the manager stressed the importance of squad depth after his former captain cancelled out Shane Long's opener.
When asked if Bent was upset, Lambert said: "No, he was great. There was no problem. I just named the team and that's the team I picked.
"It was a world-class substitution! I need everyone, it's a collective thing, I never look at individuals. The goal was brilliant, it was a world-class finish.
"He was fine at full-time. I spoke to him in the dressing room as well. He was totally fine, totally, no problem, none.
"We played a world-class game in the first half and I thought we might even have gone a goal up before half-time.
"But I'm absolutely thrilled with their efforts. It was outstanding after playing 120 minutes the other night. They were excellent and kept on going.
"I thought we left ourselves a little bit open at times but I credit the team as they gave me absolutely everything.
"West Brom are a good side and they've started the season really well, but we're doing just fine at the moment."
Lambert added: "We can only do our best and it will be at the end of the season when people can judge us.
"It's a privilege to be the manager at this football club and all I can do is my best.
"We came in at a time when there's been hurt at the football club for a few years and I think people now come to watch us and think it's exciting."