While David Moyes will be searching for answers following Manchester United's dismal display in defeat to Manchester City he will take plenty of solace from the success of the club's loan players during the weekend fixtures.
Angelo Henriquez, Jesse Lingard, Federico Macheda and Nick Powell all made a scoring contribution to give Moyes a timely remainder of their capabilities.
The Scot is unlikely to recall any of the loan players in order to supplement his squad who suffered their second defeat of the season in emphatic style at the Etihad Stadium, but the respective performances reflect the enduring strength of the club's much-vaunted youth system.
The stand-out performance from the quartet came from Lingard, who marked his Birmingham City debut with four goals, including a first-half hat-trick to inspire victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
The 20-year-old opened the scoring after just 20 minutes, reacting first after Chris Burke's shot was parried before he slotted beyond Wednesday keeper Chris Kirkland after being fed by Wade Elliot.
Lingard completed the perfect first half and his treble with a stinging drive just past the half-hour to all but seal the points for the Blues before Burke turned provider again to allow the United loanee to grab a fourth from close range.
"I enjoyed it. It's a dream come true really," Lingard said. "After the first goal my confidence was up and I just wanted to score more goals then.
"I'm glad we got the three points as well in the end which is massive for this club. I know they've haven't got off to the best start but obviously I have come here to change that and scoring the goals today has got our confidence up.
"I couldn't carry on because I had cramp in the second half. Hopefully I can play against Swansea [in the Capital One Cup] but if not I'll be looking forward to Reading next weekend."
The England Under-21 international wasn't the only United player to light up the Championship as Macheda, whose career at Old Trafford has long been in doubt, notched twice on debut for Doncaster Rovers against promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest.
"I've not scored for a long time so it was a great feeling to come back and score," the Italian said.
"But the boy is going to be a top player," manager Paul Dickov added. "He came here when he had a chance to join bigger clubs because he just wants to play football.
"He's been unlucky with some of the clubs he's been at on loan. I think one of them lost their manager soon after he arrived so I'm just happy to still be here!
"Joking apart I think he will maybe take three or four games to settle in before we see the best of him.
"There's a lot more to come from him - I'm certain of that."
Elsewhere, Powell enhanced his burgeoning reputation with his first goal for Wigan Athletic in the 2-0 win over Ipswich Town.
Powell, on a season-long loan with the Latics, sealed the win by punishing a mistake by goalkeeper Dean Gerken, and manager Owen Coyle was full of praise for the ex-Crewe Alexandra man.
"I said to David [Whelan, Wigan Athletic chairman] when I was bringing him in, for me it was a win-win-win situation," Coyle said.
"We would win out of it because we got a terrific player, Nick Powell would win because I've given him a platform to showcase his talents and Manchester United will get back a more-developed player with more experience.
"There's no doubt he can have a huge career."
And as if Moyes required further encouragement as to the progression of the club's loan players, Henriquez netted the maiden goal of his spell at Real Zaragoza to help see off Real Madrid B.
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