Everton manager David Moyes admitted Saturday's 3-1 FA Cup third-round victory over Carlisle United had flattered his side.
James Vaughan fired the Toffees into a 12th minute lead, but the League One club frustrated their Premier League opponents for over an hour after Kevan Hurst bagged an equaliser.
Late goals from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines – via a penalty – secured Everton's place in the draw for the next round, but Moyes claimed the final scoreline was scarcely justified.
"The scoreline was a little flattering, but we are through. We are also still in Europe and our league form is picking up, so things are starting to go our way," he said.
"I was not surprised by Carlisle, but I was disappointed that when we went one up early on, we were not able to build on that and control the game better.
"We were disappointed with a lot of things but I cannot be disappointed with the result.
"We had nine players injured and two away at the African Nations Cup, plus one suspended.
"It was a battle, but we expected that. The same thing happened last season in the third round when we struggled to a 1-0 win at Macclesfield, but still ended up reaching the final.
"That is what the FA Cup is all about. Maybe the save from Tim Howard pushing that shot on to the bar got us through."