Roy Hodgson has urged his Fulham side to put their Old Trafford disappointment behind them when they return to Craven Cottage to face West Brom this weekend.
A patchwork Cottagers outfit, containing fringe players Chris Baird and Tony Kallio were put to the sword 3-0 by a rampant Manchester United side on Wednesday night.
But Hodgson, who also blooded youngsters Robert Milsom and Wayne Brown in substitute roles, insisted it was a simple case of prioritising.
He said: “We have to make sure we do not get too downhearted about it as this result will not decide our fate come the end of the season.
“We have some very tough games ahead – the only consolation I have is that I did not have to play some of our injured players.
“Paul Konchesky and Andy Johnson are both carrying knocks, so it was good to give them a rest.
“It means for the West Brom and Swansea City games I will have a full contingent of players to choose from, and those games are very important to us.”
The Londoners were barely at the races in the North West, a defensive line-up pulled apart by the rampant Reds.
But, despite admitting his side had been second best, the Fulham boss was adamant it would benefit his side in the long run, starting with the visit of the rock-bottom Baggies this Sunday.
Hodgson added: “I didn’t think we got close enough to them to affect their play.
“We did better in the second-half but by then we were already 2-0 down and the game was almost dead and buried.
“All we can do is congratulate Manchester United – their passing was good, their movement was good, their composure was good and they scored a couple of great goals.
“For us it was a definite learning experience.
“We had quite a few players out there who have not played much football this season like Baird and Kallio, so it was good to get people back in the fray.
“That will definitely help us over the remainder of the campaign.”