Sir Alex Ferguson expects his younger players to learn from Manchester United's humbling Carling Cup loss to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

The Red Devils boss apologised to the club's supporters for the manner of the quarter-final defeat at the hands of an unfancied Championship side at Old Trafford.

Ferguson made 10 changes to the side that drew with Newcastle last weekend, but still named experienced players which included the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Park Ji-sung, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, and the Da Silva twins.

He later introduced promising academy prospects Ezekiel Fryers, Ravel Morisson, and Paul Pogba from the bench, but admitted that with the team failing to perform, it was even harder for the youngsters to impress on the night.

"It is hard to come on when the team is not playing well around them," Ferguson told MUTV. "It was a difficult night for them but it won't do them any harm.

"I am not going to dwell and go into the ins and outs of it all. At the end of the day it has been a very disappointing night for Manchester United."

Palace took the lead through a stunning Darren Ambrose strike, before Federico Macheda levelled from the penalty spot to take the tie into extra time.

Then, in the 98th minute, Glenn Murray settled the game when he headed in from close-range, to give the visitors a memorable victory that will go down in Crystal Palace folklore.

"They started very well for 10 minutes but then we got a lot of possession and didn't do anything with it," added Ferguson. "I don't think their goalkeeper made a save in the first half.

"Maybe we were playing too much short passing. There wasn't enough spread in the game."

As focus now switches back to the Barclays Premier League, Manchester United will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa on Saturday.

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