ALEX Ferguson is facing into a nightmare fixture list, which will make it difficult in the extreme for Manchester United fans to follow his advice and hold their nerve.
"It's not a time to panic, we have the experience to cope with that," claimed Ferguson after Newcastle had inflicted a 3-0 hammering on a poor United side.
But a combination of poor results, a daunting fixture list ahead and the looming menace of Roberto Mancini's chequebook will test even Ferguson's legendary poise under pressure to the limit.
Recent comments from Ferguson (left) suggest a low-key approach to the January transfer window but with games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool lined up over the next four weeks following Sunday's FA Cup derby against City, he has no choice but to spend and spend big.
However, Mancini (right) is also ready to splash the cash over the next few weeks, especially if Caros Tevez is shipped out of Eastlands.
"We need to sell three or four players and with Carlos we could close a deal with a club in the next three or four days, and also possibly Wayne (Bridge). Then maybe we can do something.
"We have three strikers, plus Samir (Nasri), David (Silva) and Adam Johnson. Maybe we need one midfielder if we can do it," said Mancini who will lose the Toure brothers Yaya and Kolo to the African Nations Cup and has already been linked with Roma's Daniele De Rossi.
"De Rossi is a top player, like Yaya, but he plays for Roma, a top team, and he was born there. I don't know if he will leave."
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