United are already without glandular fever sufferer Phil Neville while Gary Pallister is still out with a back problem.
Ferguson hailed Roy Keane as his man of the match. "He was unbelievable, a planet above everyone else."
Ferguson said Spurs gave his side a severe examination. "It's a great credit to Gerry Francis that he can pull a team out of the hat like that. They didn't let him down.
"What gave us a little bit of an edge was that the two young players up front for them were up against two experienced defenders and they didn't have the cutting edge which might have given them a result."
The Spurs manager said: "We didn't deserve to lose. "It's hard enough to come here with a full squad but with nine or 10 players out it's going to be difficult. But it didn't work out that way.
"Even when we went a goal behind Rory Allen had a great chance to equalise and for 15 minutes we had them penned back."Reuse content