The side which drew 0-0 with Watford in the week had only four players - Steve Potts, Raggy Soma, Laurent Courtois and Shaun Byrne - with any first team experience.
Terry Khan and Freddie Eastwood were making their first starts, James Allen was only making his second start, and at one point young Graeme Carrick replaced Anton Ferdinand!
"This is the way it will be," says Paul, "and the youngsters have to grab their opportunities.
"The senior players are all at peak fitness, so this gives us the chance to let the youngsters have a go."
Glen Johnson missed the game through illness - despite rumours that he was being 'rested' in order to be in the first team squad this weekend - but is likely to get another call-up for the next reserve game as he gets ready to play for England under-19s later in the month against Lithuania.
"He is a regular for England under-19s and has got a few reserve games in," says Paul.
"In some of them he has done well, in others against strong opposition he has found it hard, but we hope he keeps progressing."
As for the weekend, and the West Ham connection with old boys Mervyn Day and Alan Curbishley returning to Upton Park, Paul says: "It is not them I'm worried about - it's the 11 they put out!
"Charlton have done well in London derbies until they lost to Arsenal, and it will be a tough game."
Regarding the two wins at the weekend, Paul says: "Against Ipswich we didn't play well at times, but we scored very good goals, then followed it up with a very pleasing win over Fulham.
"Me and Glenn are not particularly ones for statistics but it was clear that we were not reproducing the home form away, and Glenn wanted to do something about it."
"As for the situation regarding Paolo Di Canio, he adds: "I wouldn't want to go into that other than to say that a manager makes decisions, tactical or otherwise, and if a player is unhappy he can always go and speak to him."
Paul says there will be no let up in the final six games, insisting: "It is not so much that I was having sleepless nights, but life is certainly rosier now we have reached 43 points."
"Now we have to pick up as many points as we can - starting with Charlton."