Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he made a mistake by not putting Dimitar Berbatov on the bench for Manchester United's disappointing Champions League draw with Rangers at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
Ferguson made 10 changes and gave in-form Berbatov the night off as he tried to assess the standing of some new players. But as United struggled to overcome Rangers' blanket defence, Ferguson found himself lacking someone with the guile to find a way through once Antonio Valencia had departed with his horrific injury.
"We wanted to see how Javier Hernandez would do in a full game," said Ferguson. "Because of that we left Berbatov out and his form has been absolutely fantastic. He has been one of our best players this season and his ability to create in tight situations would have made a difference."
Yet Ferguson insisted he had no alternative as, entering such a congested phase of the season, he needed to know what options he has at his disposal.
"We wanted to find out about one or two players," he said.
"But seven or eight of them played against Chelsea in the Community Shield, so we weren't short of players we needed to win the game.
"There were plenty of good players on the pitch."