Kilmarnock assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl hailed the attitude of substiute Paul Heffernan after the Irish striker brushed off the disappointment of his omission to knock Inverness out the William Hill Scottish Cup.
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Heffernan was one of several experienced players on the bench as manager Kenny Shiels kept faith with Mark O'Hara, William Gros and Ross Barbour after bringing in a number of youngsters for the midweek defeat by Celtic.
But the Irishman came on just before the break after Cillian Sheridan pulled up with a hamstring injury and struck twice to earn Killie a 2-0 win at Rugby Park.
Heffernan drilled home in the 58th minute following a break of the ball and flicked home Barbour's strike with five minutes left.
Nicholl said: "We knew it was going to be difficult because of the way they have been this season and what we had on the park, with the inexperience.
"The manager had a decision to make and it turned out to be the right decision to stick with the young lads, Barbour and Gros and O'Hara.
"They did really well. I thought Willie Gros was excellent up front, O'Hara's composure, and Barbour's willingness, and then the attitude of the senior players who might have been disappointed they didn't start.
"Heffernan got two goals coming on and showing a wee bit of composure, and everything went right for us on the day.
"It just shows you how substitutions go for you accidentally and it has worked out for Heffernan today, but there is no getting away from his composure for the first one and his quick-thinking for the other one."
As well as suffering their third defeat and second cup exit in eight days, Inverness also lost captain Richie Foran and playmaker Andrew Shinnie to injury in the first half hour.
And their day got worse when substitute Charlie Taylor got the ball away from Gros with an excellent covering tackle but saw it bounce off Gary Warren and into the path of Heffernan for the opener.
Manager Terry Butcher said: "We never get a chance like that, we have to create our chances. I just couldn't believe how it happened but it did and he has buried it and after that it's us trying to press the game and we got caught again."
Butcher bemoaned his side's luck.
"Your captain and most infleuntial player gets taken off in the first half and it was always going to be difficult from there on," he said.
"I look at their bench and see (Manuel) Pascali, Heffernan and (Garry) Hay and people like that and our bench is made up of young kids.
"Our young kids came on and did well and got into the game but it was going to be hard."
Butcher, who was without the suspended Ross Draper, revealed Billy McKay (ankle) and Owain Tudur Jones (knee) had also suffered knocks while Shinnie and Foran could both be out for a "few weeks" with the captain's injury causing most concern.
"We will get it scanned and we will see but someone landed on his knee," Butcher said. "It must have been bad for Richie to come off.
"I don't think Andy's is that serious. His hamstring is tight but it has not snapped or torn.
"McKay got studs on his ankle and Jones was hit by (Rory) McKeown's chin, bizarrely.
"That's the way it goes. It wasn't our day."