After playing to a painful 1-1 draw with bottom-placed Burnley on Tuesday, Manchester United now head into what increasingly seems like a must-win Premier League match against Southampton on Saturday.
The draw to Burnley saw the Red Devils slip out of the top four on the EPL table, albeit with a game in hand over fourth-placed West Ham.
However, that disappointing result came hot on the heels of their exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Middlesbrough last Friday night after a penalty shoot-out defeat at Old Trafford.
Now, as United return to their hallowed home turf, there is some serious pressure building on interim manager Ralf Rangnick and his underperforming troops.
“Again it’s a frustrating night for us because we should have won that game easily,” Rangnick commented on the draw at Turf Moor, which saw the manager choose to play Cristiano Ronaldo off the bench.
“The first 15-20 minutes of the second half we were just not aggressive enough. One point from a performance like this is just not enough.”
United now face another tricky clash against 10th-placed Southampton, who have been handed a huge selection boost as highly-rated teenager Tino Livramento has returned to training after missing several games either side of the New Year with a knee injury.
Meanwhile, what’s also become increasingly clear is that United are running the risk of losing out on next season’s Champions League if they fail to discover their best form in the near future.
Seventh-placed Spurs are currently four points off fourth, but with games in hand, while Arsenal – who have also played two games less than United – sit in sixth place.
Notably, February is a rather quiet time for United in terms of their fixture list, but in March they have consecutive league games against Manchester City, Spurs and then Liverpool.
It all adds to the importance of United banking all the points available against a team like Southampton this weekend.