Midfielder Joe Allen says Wales’ 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland showed they can cope without star men Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
Harry Wilson’s second half free-kick secured a second Nations League win for a youthful Wales side.
The game in Dublin was Wales’ first competitive fixture without their two leading players since Ramsey’s debut in 2008.
“It was important for us to cope without those two players,” Allen said.
“Everyone knows that they’re special players, but it’s important for us as a team to work to get a result when they’re not here.”
Wales were without injured Real Madrid forward Bale while Arsenal midfielder Ramsey left the squad after his wife gave birth to twin boys.
Manager Ryan Giggs had challenged his side to “prove people wrong” by beating the Republic of Ireland without Bale and Ramsey.
Giggs gave first starts to teenage Leeds striker Tyler Roberts and 18-year-old midfielder Matt Smith, on loan at Dutch side Twente from Manchester City.
Stoke City’s Allen played alongside Smith in midfield and the former Swansea City and Liverpool player was impressed with the youngster, who has featured regularly for Twente.
“It was great for me to play out there with him,” Allen added.
“He’s got so much in the locker and a player I think everyone’s going to look forward to seeing more and more of.
“You can certainly see why he’s at a club like Manchester City. He’s doing really well in Holland at the minute.
“If he keeps going on the path he’s on then I’m sure it’s a name we’ll be getting used to.”
Wales’ side also featured Connor Roberts, David Brooks and match winner Wilson while George Thomas came off the bench to win his second cap.
Allen, who was himself only 19 when he won his first Wales cap in 2009, has been impressed with Wales’ youngsters.
“They’ve brought enthusiasm and freshness and talent and ability, which is the most important thing,” Allen added.
“They’re all good lads that are willing to learn and really enjoying the experience of international football.
“To get thrown out there in a game like that and come away with that type of performance and win says volumes about what they’ve got as players.
Defender Ben Davies, who will miss November’s home game against Denmark after picking up his second yellow card of the campaign, praised the youngsters’ resilience.
“It’s not always easy to play the nice football that these boys are used to week in, week out,” Davies said.
“But they really showed grit, fight and determination and we got a great result out here.”