It led him to take a chance on the fitness of Owen Hargreaves, which backfired badly as he lasted just five minutes on his first start since September 2008 after suffering a hamstring injury.
"We took a gamble with Owen Hargreaves," admitted Ferguson.
"We thought by doing that it would give us a compact midfield with experience. But he only lasted five minutes. It was a disaster.
"He has hurt his hamstring, which is unbelievable. It put us under the cosh.
"He has potential but he is learning.
"What we needed was the patience to open them up because we were playing without a lot of players who can make a difference at that stage of the game.
"It is unfortunate we didn't get one earlier. Nevertheless, we will take it."