Roy Hodgson handed full debuts to James McCarthy, Sam Woods and Victor Camarasa in a line-up that saw 10 changes made from Manchester United victory, as Palace exited the Carabao Cup.
During the manager's post-match press conference, Hodgson said: "Very true [it was a come down from Saturday]. I believe the team we put out tonight would’ve been capable of winning the game.
"It was important for some players to show what they can do; we had injuries to Ward and Schlupp anyway, and one or two players coming back from injury – like Schlupp – that we didn’t really want to take a chance on.
"But having said all of that, the starting line-up today, is a starting line-up in my opinion was going to be capable of winning the game and they didn’t because we didn’t play well enough and Colchester played very well."
Martin Kelly was subbed off at half-time, with Gary Cahill coming on for the centre-back, and Hodgson revealed that Kelly's exit was purely down to player management rather than an injury: "We’ve got Tomkins and Sakho, long-term injured, so that's two very important centre-backs from last year, who still haven’t made any sort of performance as yet. So that leaves us with the three centre-backs that we have.
"I chose on Saturday to play with Gary Cahill and Martin Kelly, and I was more than happy with their performance, so I wanted to make certain, if I could, that those two would also be fit and available for this Saturday’s game."