Ray McKinnon is in line to have his big guns fit when Dundee United look to get their Championship promotion challenge back on track against Dumbarton on Saturday.
The Tangerines gaffer left a string of his regular starters out and a team that included five teenage starters beat Alloa in the Irn-Bru Cup at the weekend.
Only experienced players he felt needed game time were used from the start and that policy should have given others time to get clear of lingering fitness issues.
Top of that list is attacking pair James Keatings and Scott Fraser, who were also left out of the league defeat at St Mirren a week earlier in a bid to aid their recovery.
Keatings has had problems with the ankle ligaments he strained in July, while Fraser has been feeling the foot he broke last season.
“By the time we face Dumbarton, they’ll have had three weeks’ break from actually playing and it should have done them good,” said Ray.
“The experienced ones who played against Alloa will have benefited from it. Willo Flood desperately needed game time and the 90 minutes will have done him a lot of good.
“Paul McMullan, after his sending off the other week, will have benefited from the run-out as well and William Edjenguele has been out as well, so it was good for him to get a game.”
While the 3-1 success over Alloa was no classic, Ray was also pleased with the way the kids involved — Harvey Dailly, Scott Allardice, Logan Chalmers, Archie Thomas and new signing Joe Piggott — handled the challenged of facing experienced opposition.
“Scott’s played a few games now but for these other young kids it’s a chance for them to see where they are in their development compared to first-team players.
“They all worked very hard and put in a decent shift. They gave it their all and did well.
“Alloa had a very experienced squad, make no bones about it and I thought the young kids did great. They will take lots from it and learn, it’s invaluable experience for them.
“They’ll get another chance in the next round because we’re through, so it was all good for the young kids.
“Joe Piggott has hardly trained over the last three months and probably his game for us in the 20s the other week was his only one in a while, so he lacks fitness, but I thought he showed up well.”