United will start tomorrow’s home FA Cup quarter-final against West Ham as underdogs.
Then comes the mountain to climb against Liverpool in the Europa League, second leg next Thursday.
Just over 48 hours later United make the short trip across town to face next door neighbours at the Etihad, where few will back them to win.
Three more defeats don’t bare thinking about for United fans, but it’s impossible to rule out.
Van Gaal remains in denial. There is no method to his apparent madness as he continues to pick the wrong players in the wrong positions and deploy tactics that betray the DNA of a team renowned for playing on the front foot.
Injuries have been unkind to Van Gaal, but this is no excuse.
All clubs suffer injuries and it is his responsibility to juggle resources to the best of his ability.
The players have spent months looking confused and bored of playing under an ageing manager who looks like he has taken on one job too many.
Van Gaal won’t resign. He is too proud – and arrogant – to do that.
But his future should be decided for him so United can start their third attempt at making a decent fist of life after Sir Alex Ferguson.