Erik ten Hag is about to test his Manchester United theory – Isaac Johnson

However, he will know as well as anyone that the next seven days are pivotal in how United may fare this Christmas period. In the space of a week he will either be lauded or lamented.

The Dutchman may posit a calm mind at the moment but a storm awaits him at Goodison Park on Sunday. The rafters will be rocking as the riled Everton fans produce a raucous riposte to the Premier Leagues 10-point deduction.

There is no let-up afterwards either. United travel across to the other side of the continent to take on Galatasaray in Turkey for a must-win Champions League battle. The Super Lig giants are known for creating a hostile environment for visitors and United will enter a colosseum at RAMS Park.

Anything but a victory will see United exit the competition at the first stage. If victories are not gathered in those two matches then the pressure ramps up significantly for the trip to St James Park.

United have been beaten by Newcastle twice since their League Cup final win over the Magpies and many onlookers believe a draw for the Reds on Tyneside would be a good result.

Each match has a knock-on effect. In terms of what is at stake, the clash against Galatasaray is clearly the most important but perhaps what happens at Everton has greater poignancy.

A defeat would see United fly to Turkey low on confidence, and perhaps make them more liable to melt under the pressure against Galatasaray. Newcastle still have an axe to grind for the Carabao Cup final defeat so they will be eager to stick it to Erik ten Hag again following his time-wasting comments last term.

United do have a mild platform to spring from. They are the Premier Leagues most in-form side with four wins in their last five outings, although these victories did come against Brentford, Sheffield United, Fulham and Luton.

That said, Ten Hag believes there has been a change in mentality. Speaking on Friday, he said: “Definitely, we have seen a turning point, we have seen how we deal with certain situations that we build on a certain foundation and now we have to build on.”

Fans will see whether this comment is justified in the next seven gruelling days. Everton play hosts on Sunday while the crunch tie with Galatasaray takes place on Wednesday before Newcastle the following Saturday.

And further to this, United are due to face Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Liverpool before Christmas with the tricky Aston Villa on Boxing Day. The Reds are due to play eight fixtures in December and they could well dictate how the rest of the season goes.

Rasmus Hojlund provides hope with his five Champions League goals, although he needs to transfer this form into the Premier League after a goalless first nine games. Marcus Rashford has just one goal in 16 outings but class doesnt totally dissipate away in three months.