Stefano Pioli hailed Milan's bench as an "extra weapon" after a 4-2 extra-time win over Torino in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Milan's substitutes, Zlatan Ibrahimovic among them, delivered at San Siro, where the hosts came from behind.
Hakan Calhanoglu, introduced late on, equalised to force extra time before netting again prior to Ibrahimovic's sealer.
Pioli praised his team and said the power off the bench gave them even more options.
"We started the game very well, we would have deserved a bigger lead at the break," the head coach told Milan TV.
"But having such important players on the bench allows me to find alternate solutions. So, it is an extra weapon for the team and everyone needs to accept starting on the bench with the right mentality.
"The important thing is not playing the full 90 minutes, but to give the right contribution to the team, whether they play 90 minutes or five or eight, we must always play with this mentality."
Milan have been resurgent to begin 2020 and the win over Torino marked their fifth straight.
Pioli said his side, who host Hellas Verona in the Serie A on Sunday, were heading in the right direction.
"The players deserve the congratulations because they made another important statement, a statement of quality, intensity and sacrifice," he said.
"We're on the right path."