Roberto Di Matteo vowed to continue giving chances to Andre Villas-Boas' Chelsea rejects after watching them put the club within touching distance of the Champions League semi-finals.
Di Matteo's decision to hand rare starts to the likes of Paulo Ferreira, John Obi Mikel and Salomon Kalou paid off as the Blues punished Benfica with a 1-0 win at the Estadio da Luz.
All three had been largely frozen out by sacked boss Villas-Boas but answered caretaker manager Di Matteo's call in the same way Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien had in the last-16 comeback against Napoli.
Leaving Lampard, Drogba and Essien out last night was therefore a bold move by Di Matteo, initially invoking memories of Villas-Boas' doomed line-up in the first-leg defeat in Naples.
With fatigue setting in during a run of seven games in 20 days, the Italian insisted he had no choice, adding: "I'm involving everybody that is in the squad, rotating.
"We'll need everybody until the end of the season. We cannot play with just 11 players. You'll see other players who have maybe played a little less in the past playing more of a role in the future."
"It's just impossible for us to play every three days and reach the fitness levels needed to win games."
Di Matteo insisted he would not sleep soundly after what was his second straight European triumph, claiming Chelsea still had a mountain to climb.
He said: "I think we've put ourselves in a good position, but it's not a result you can rely upon for the home game. It's one goal.
"You look at he results Benfica have achieved in this Champions League... you're not going to sleep very calmly looking at that."
Di Matteo added: "We are pleased that we're in a different position [from last time] going into the second leg.
"We had a mountain to climb against Napoli. We still have a mountain, but it may be a little bit smaller because we've achieved a good result here."
Benfica boss Jorge Jesus claimed Chelsea - who were today reported to have tried to sound out Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola about becoming their new manager - were lucky to win.
He said: "We were superior in many things to Chelsea, but they were luckier in one moment."
Jesus insisted his side, who helped eliminate Manchester United, would not throw in the towel in next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge.
He said: "We've scored in all our away games so far, so we can easily go there and win."