Marco Silva declared his satisfaction after Everton beat Lincoln City 2-1 to “achieve our obligation” of playing in the FA Cup fourth round, as he hailed the Evertonians' backing at a virtually sold out Goodison Park.
The Blues boss also reserved praise for goalscoring duo Ademola Lookman and Bernard.
The pair struck within three first-half minutes as Everton flew out of the blocks at the Grand Old Lady.
Michael Bostwick hit a 28th-minute reply for the Imps and the visitors applied some pressure towards the end of the opening period.
Everton reasserted their dominance after the break, however, and saw out the game comfortably to secure their spot in the fourth round draw on Monday night.
Boss Silva has spoken of his desire to embark on “a fantastic run” in the competition – and says he is eager to reward the Everton fans for their support.
“We achieved the main thing, which is to play in the next round, and we did our obligation as a team,” he said.
“We started the match with intensity and some good moments – with both goals very good finishes.
“Then we lost focus and gave them some hope [with their goal].
“The game is always open then, until the moment we can score a third. We continued to create chances… But we will play in the next round, which is the most important thing.
“I want to have a word about our fans, too. We come here, in the third round against Lincoln, and our stadium was almost sold out. It shows us just how important this competition is to them. We knew before the match, but they proved again how important it is and the enthusiasm they have to play in this competition.
“It will be important for us in the next game [against Bournemouth next Sunday], that they come here and support us again and help our players like they always do.”
Everton got off to a blistering start at Goodison, attacking with speed, guile and purpose.
It was the lively Lookman who was to make the breakthrough. The winger – who was making his first appearance since December 15 having been sidelined with an ankle injury – looped a header over Lincoln goalkeeper Josh Vickers to put the Blues in front on 12 minutes.
Bernard got the Blues’ second just two minutes later – his clever dink finishing a slick team move involving Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
While Lincoln put together a few attacks after Bostwick's close-range finish halved the deficit – Silva’s side were in complete control in the second half.
They dominated possession and had chances to put the game beyond doubt through Sigurdsson, Cenk Tosun and Richarlison.
As it was, the two early strikes proved enough and boss Silva hailed the impact of his goalscoring wingers.
“They both did well,” he said. “Of course, when Lookman had that injury he was in a very, very good moment, he was playing more and more and going close to achieving a place in our starting XI.
“He got that injury in his best moment of the season, now he is coming back. He played 90 minutes today, which I’m sure will be important for him. He had very good moments, showing his quality, and I’m sure he will improve more and more.
“Bernard had a good performance too. Not just because he scored his first goal in our shirt, with a good finish, but in some moments of the game he gave us good quality.”