Having come through an incredibly challenging run with flying colours, we now face an even more daunting series of fixtures that will shape how our season will finish.
United’s defence, as is widely reported, has reached record-breaking levels of accomplishment in the period between November and February. But, if we are to keep in the running for major prizes then matchwinners need to start appearing further up the pitch.
In the next month United will play twice a week, every week, including a cup final, two games against Inter, the next round of the FA Cup and culminating in the showdown at Old Trafford with Liverpool. When you put it like that, the bookmakers who have paid out on the domestic treble already start to look a touch on the zealous side. This is a major task.
To put it mildly, having six defenders injured this week is about as timely as a fart in a yoga class. Mourinho will know all about our problems at the back and he will do his damnedest to target this weakness. Traditionally his teams will pick on an opponents frailty and try to tear it into an open wound. In the San Siro on Tuesday they will push as far up the pitch as they can and lob ball after ball over the top to try and hit some part of Adriano or Ibrahimovic's bodies. Frankly it could get ugly.
Fergie knows this and has already mentioned being 'very, very short in defence'. Mourinho's record over us is not one United fans tend to shout about and we may not improve it much this week. However, we all know what the best form of defence is don't we? That's right, attack.
We have managed to bulldoze ourselves through a treacle of fixtures so far but to keep it going, and we can keep it going, we have to do what we do best. Play the Manchester United way. If Inter spend the game trying to score against us then we will reply in kind. I expect Fletcher to start without question, whether or not he is in defence or midfield is irrelevant, we need his blood and guts. Fletcher and O'Shea never let us down and I will be happy if either start. The big performances are going to have to be all over the park though, especially from the guys up front.
Rooney and Ronaldo both scored at the weekend and that is very encouraging. Sure, this won't be easy but this team should have plenty in it to survive a slugging contest with anybody. This is a time for heroes to rise, I am confident that we have them.