Luke Offord believes operating in a 3-5-2 formation could again be an option for Crewe Alexandra in the future.
The skipper joined Connor O’Riordan and Zac Williams in a back three at Sunderland in midweek, as The Railwaymen produced a strong performance that yielded a cup upset.
Ryan Cooney and Rio Adebisi operated at wing-back, while Courtney Baker-Richardson and Shilow Tracey played closer together in attack.
Offord felt the experiment was a success and could be repeated this season.
“The formation worked well," he said.
"The gaffer set out the gameplan for us and the lads executed it very well. We were out on our feet at the end and to a man we grafted. I think we deserved it.
“We can play five at the back because we have a lot of defenders who can cover the positions – it could be something we can use going forward.
“Our thoughts have turned to Swindon now – we travel on Friday. We want to go there and get a result.”
Offord scored Crewe’s goal in normal time at the Stadium of Light – his second for the club – before the Carabao Cup tie was eventually settled on penalties.
He added: “I’m not normally in the box, I normally stay back!
“But I thought there was a lot of space at the back stick and I managed to get my head on it.
“The deliveries have been good and set-pieces are important. We have been working on them and we have to keep doing it.”