Furious Fergie apologises after dire United exit Carling Cup
Sorry is usually the hardest word for Sir Alex Ferguson, but he felt the need to apologise to Manchester United supporters after defeat to Crystal Palace last night.
A second string United outfit delivered a dire performance against Crystal Palace, who are currently mired in mid-table in the Championship and deservedly sent United packing from the Carling Cup after Glen Murray scored an extra-time winner for the Eagles.
Even though the Red Devils were short of a sizeable amount of first team regulars, they were playing at Old Trafford and their line-up still contained the likes of Chris Smalling, the Da Silva twins, Antonio Valencia, Dimitar Berbatov and, er, Darron Gibson.
Fergie was fulsome in his praise of Palace, who have progressed to the semi-final stage, but didn’t let up in his criticism of his own side, something that is rare for the most one-eyed manager in world football.
"I don't know where to start," he said.
"My apologies go to the fans because that was not a Manchester United performance. I don't want to take anything away from Crystal Palace and I wish them every success because that was a fantastic, mammoth effort by every one of their players. But I'm just very disappointed.
"I'm so disappointed and I also have to apologise to the players who weren't playing. We never expected that. Any time we go on the pitch it means a lot to Manchester United. We have our pride to protect and our history to protect. Every time we walk on the pitch it's important. We didn't see that tonight. There were nine internationals out there, so that was a big disappointment."
There was a suggestion that Murray was offside when heading past Ben Amos in the first half of extra time to seal the win after Federico Macheda had earlier cancelled out a stunning Darren Ambrose opener, but the United manager didn’t want that suspect decision to take away from the winners.
"We don't seem to be getting much luck from linesmen at the moment," Fergie added.
"It was offside from what I've seen. But I can't take anything away from the Crystal Palace side. They fought hard to get the result and they deserved it.
"I'm not going to dwell on it and go into the ins and out of why it happened – we were beaten and we're very disappointed."
Fergie saying sorry? Officials awarding dodgy decisions against United at Old Trafford? All does not seem right with the Premier League champions at the moment.