Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson says the Foxes showed their promotion credentials by knocking Premier League club Fulham out of the League Cup.
Three days after moving into second place in the Championship, City made five changes to book a quarter-final berth in the competition.
"They proved they have the desire and quality to achieve what we want," Pearson told BBC Radio Leicester.
"A positive cup run really does help the league situation."
Pearson added: "I've never, ever seen the cup, either as a player, manager or coach, as being a hindrance to league form.
"It is a good exercise to give other players that chance to go and play. Tonight gave the opportunity for some of the players to get a start who needed it, and will need it if we are going to achieve what we want to achieve."
Chris Wood, who said he needs to strive for perfection to earn more starts, put the hosts in front at the break.
Foxes captain Wes Morgan equalised with a header four minutes earlier after Hugo Rodallega side-footed the visitors ahead on 18 minutes.
On-loan Arsenal defender Ignasi Miquel, who has made just one league appearance this term, made it 3-1 with his first goal for the club.
Rodallega scored his second straight from the restart before Giorgos Karagounis equalised for the Cottagers with just three minutes to go.
Pearson turned to the bench, bringing on leading goalscrorer David Nugent who set Lloyd Dyer up for the winner with his first touch.
"We don't like to concede three goals but we certainly enjoy scoring four," Pearson said.
"Winning the game is obviously important, but having players who have not figured as much as they would like, but I know are key players for us this season, get a game is massively important.
"It is a tighter squad this year and it is important to underline this point - we have a group of players here who want to be here and want to achieve stuff for the club and themselves.
"I'm not bothered who we get in the next round, the players deserve another decent game and the fans deserve to get a good night and hopefully another one at home."