For the first time since the victory over Bournemouth back at the start of November, Freedman went with both of his big-name strikers.
Many fans had been clamouring for a more attacking formation at home – and the switch paid off handsomely as both David Ngog and Jermaine Beckford got on the scoresheet.
“We went with a standard front two and played pretty direct if I’m being honest,” Freedman said.
“I thought the two strikers were excellent. We looked at their shape and how they play and we just felt we could take advantage of one or two things.
“And it worked for us, especially in the first half. I felt we were right at their back four.
“Sometimes that approach works for you, other times it doesn’t. But it worked today.”
Freedman hopes a bit of good cheer in the cup can now have an impact on league form, with Nottingham Forest due to visit the Reebok next weekend in the first game of a tough-looking January schedule.
Home form has been the main issue for the Whites, with only two wins out of 12 this season.
“Teams come to the Reebok and sit in,” Freedman said. “We played with a lot of desire, great bits of quality. Defensively, we made one or two mistakes – we have got to get better at that – but in the end we showed grit and determination to see the game out.
“We deserve that bit of luck. We have had lots of draws – fine lines at this place – and hopefully that kick starts us at the Reebok.
“Today was a big achievement at getting across the line. Can we play better? Yes, of course we can. But when you have got the honesty and determination in the group, they are going to win matches.”
Although there was plenty to admire in an attacking sense, the performance of Medo Kamara just in front of the back four was one that left the manager purring with praise.
“I thought he was great,” he said. “Mark Davies had a cold and Jay Spearing I rested. So he was asked to do a real disciplined role and he did that.
“Medo kept picking up the ball and breaking their attacks down and re-generating the ball to our players.
“I also have to give credit to Andy Lonergan because he pulled off one or two saves that were really important in the end.”