Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits the Carling Cup is a critical part of their campaign.

United face Crystal Palace in the quarterfinal this week.

"I think the League Cup has turned into quite a good tournament," Ferguson told "Clubs like United are able to introduce young players and ones who have not been playing regularly in the first team and it's been good to us over the years.

"We've won two finals at Wembley with young players, which is good going, and I think it's become an important tournament for us in terms of getting the youngsters an introduction into winning and having an understanding of the progress they're making."