Captain Thiago Silva acknowledged Paris Saint-Germain did not have it easy as they kept their treble bid alive with a 2-1 Coupe de la Ligue win over Lille.
The Ligue 1 champions remain on course to replicate their historic domestic clean sweep from last season but had to respond to losing Adrien Rabiot to a second-half red card.
The match was all-square at 1-1 when the midfielder departed but Angel Di Maria punished some poor Lille defending to seal the latest piece of silverware for Laurent Blanc's side.
"It was difficult, but that is normal when you play against good teams, it's always like that," Thiago Silva told France 2.
"After Rabiot's sending off it was a little more difficult but all the players have made the effort to win."
PSG can complete their trophy haul back at the Stade de France in the Coupe de France final versus Marseille next month and Thiago Silva would like to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic and company somewhere closer to their best form.
"We must finish the season, we will try to play better than today," he added.