Town's threadbare numbers were put to the test on Tuesday against Sunderland with five senior members of the first-team squad unavailable.
But Cotterill's men came up trumps as the manager hailed more flexibility with players impressing out of position.
Cotterill claimed the club, who remain 21st and in the League One drop zone, will enjoy a better second half of the campaign as the squad continues to settle. He insisted the summer's permanent signings have been a considerable success and additions of 'the right' individuals in January will be 'a real bonus'.
"I think we will be stronger. When the season first starts you have half of last year's team and a new team coming in," Cotterill said.
"If you look at the boys who have come in on permanent deals – sometimes loans don't always come off, sometimes they're gambles and you're not quite sure and it's what you can get at that time.
"But if you look at the boys that have come in, I think they've been great additions to the club, I think the average age has come down, so we have some younger bodies.
"There's lots of good things gone on behind the scenes that are more beneficial to the club.
"There's lots of things to look forward to. It might not be a trophy cabinet at the end of the season, but I think there's lots to look forward to.
"If we can get the right players in the window and strengthen us a little bit more, that is what we'll try to do. If we can't get the right ones we won't get anyone. If we can that will be a real bonus for the second half of the season."
Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Aaron Pierre, Shaun Whalley and Josh Daniels all missed out through injury with Elliott Bennett serving a one-match ban. He returns on Saturday but David Davis begins a three-match suspension for his dismissal on Tuesday.
Cotterill said: "There's going to be clubs all around the country who will be low on numbers.
"Hark on back to this, but would we have liked a couple more in before that window closed? Yes.
"But I've said and I'll say it again, when I first came in here there was a squad of 29, I still couldn't have picked a better team on Tuesday – with five injuries – from the squad of 29.
"It's about quality and not quantity. Yes we have the issue where all of a sudden there's a striker playing in midfield, a midfielder at centre-half, that's what happens when you're building clubs, try to get that bit of flexibility among the squad when you have a smaller squad. They were brilliant."