A report in the Sun this morning claims David Moyes has three matches to prove to the Manchester United hierarchy that he is the right man for the job.
Some would say he has already had 43 matches in which to do that, but if the latest story is believed it could all come down to the next three.
United face Olympiakos in the second-leg of the Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday evening, after which they head to Upton Park to face West Ham United at the weekend before welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford the following Tuesday.
So what can United fans – and Moyes – expect from the next three matches, given their apparent added importance?
With United now well and truly out of the race for a top-four finish, the only way they will qualify for next season’s Champions League is to win the thing this season. That may be little more than a pipe-dream, but stranger things have happened in football and one of United’s famous European glory nights on Wednesday could be the catalyst for, if not a surge, then certainly an upturn.
In truth United should beat Olympiakos by the required score-line. They know exactly what they have to do and need to prove to the watching world that they are still a talented group of footballers capable of overturning a 2-0 deficit on their own patch.
I can see Moyes’ men winning on Wednesday, just as I can see them triumph the following weekend when they face West Ham.
The champions’ away form has not been too bad this season, and their recent matches against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion showed they can both score and maintain a clean-sheet away from home, playing some of their best football of the season in the process.
As a result, they should be too strong for the Hammers even in their own backyard.
But the problem comes a few days later, when City come to town.
After the performance United gave when they faced Liverpool at Old Trafford, I cannot see it getting any better against their fierce rivals.
United have shown already this campaign that a bit of momentum rarely leads to a complete change of fortune, and even if they do beat both Olympiakos and West Ham, I feel they will stumble against City.
And if that is the case – and if this morning’s report is true – the United board may have to decide if two wins and yet another defeat is enough proof that Moyes should be given time and, perhaps more importantly, if he is the man to be trusted with a significant summer transfer kitty.