Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt described the return to action of Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher on Wednesday night as "massively important" for the club.
The pair were in action as Sir Alex Ferguson's side beat Newcastle 2-1 in the Capital One Cup at Old Trafford to set up a clash with Chelsea in the next round.
Fletcher started his first competitive match for 10 months after suffering from a career-threatening bowel condition while Rooney made his first appearance for more than a month after a bad gash to his thigh.
And former midfielder Butt told Sky Sports that it was hugely significant to see the pair back on the pitch and pulling the strings again.
"It is massively important," he said.
"They are both very good players and top performers for this club. To have Wayne and Darren back in the squad for selection is great, especially Wayne.
"Darren has still got a way to go yet. He has been out for a while so he needs to be patient but Wayne needs to get back in as soon as possible and start firing again."
Former Newcastle defender John Beresford was impressed with the display of Fletcher, who played the full 90 minutes at Old Trafford.
Beresford said: "He dictated the game. The benefit for him as he comes back to fitness is the young men around him. They are going to learn so much.
"He makes it so simple and then the way he picks the pass and invites you in. He is two or three passes ahead. He is as good as you'll ever see."
Anderson set United on their way just before half time and Tom Cleverley extended their lead from 18 yards before Papiss Cisse pulled one back for Newcastle.
Before smashing home his first goal for United, Cleverly had missed a great chance in the first half and Butt believes it will be a relief to the 23-year-old who has also missed good chances for England recently.
He said: "Tom is a very good player. He needs to get a lot of games under his belt this season, which hopefully he will. He'll hope to get on the scoresheet a bit more. As an advanced player that needs to be part of his game.
"When you miss a few chances, which he did for England as well, it does play on your mind - it plays on anyone's mind - but he kept going and it was good that he got his goal in the end."