United have not suffered three defeats in a row since the last three games of the 2000/01 campaign, when the Premier League title had already been won.
But that is the fate which awaits them at Manchester City on Sunday if Ferguson cannot cajole a better performance out of his injury-hit team than they produced at Newcastle last night.
"It is obviously a big game against City in the FA Cup," United midfielder Ryan Giggs said. "The atmosphere will be good, we'll take a load of fans there and hopefully we can get back to winning ways."
The obvious problem for Ferguson is the strength of the opposition and his own lack of options.
Only in attack do United have choices to make, and even then it tends to involve who will be asked to play out of position.
Six goals in three games demanded Dimitar Berbatov be picked on Tyneside, but his lacklustre contribution there makes an equally forceful case for the Bulgarian's omission at the weekend.
Ferguson cited a crucial first-half miss by Wayne Rooney as the turning point against Newcastle and the striker, fresh from being disciplined over an ill-advised Boxing Day night out, was substituted after 74 minutes.
However, Rooney will surely keep his place alongside either Danny Welbeck, who has one goal since October, or Javier Hernandez - none since November - or both. And this is where United are strong.
With Tom Cleverley featuring just twice since September 10, Darren Fletcher ruled out for an indefinite period and Anderson only just easing his way back from a long-term knee injury, United's midfield resources have been stretched when it appeared they were painfully thin to start with.
Rooney and Phil Jones have been used at times, with Giggs a more obvious alternative, along with Park Ji-sung and Michael Carrick, who was producing his best performances of the season until he was forced to take up defensive duties.
It was Rafael's presence in United's engine room for the shock loss to Blackburn that was most alarming though, giving rise to yet more speculation about a transfer window move for Wesley Sneijder, even though the suspicion is that Ferguson is not the Inter Milan star's greatest fan.
Providing Chris Smalling does return quickly, as Ferguson stated last week in rejecting stories the England defender had glandular fever, that should at least bolster a defence so obviously missing skipper Nemanja Vidic, who is out for the rest of the season.
Now he has taken the brave decision to axe David de Gea, Ferguson should stick with Anders Lindegaard in goal even though communication in the build-up to Jones's embarrassing own goal last night was non-existent.
Nevertheless, Ferguson's continued insistence that he does not require at least one addition to his squad during the transfer window is baffling considering how tough United are finding things at present.
And they certainly will not get any easier on Sunday against opponents who recorded a scarcely believable 6-1 win at Old Trafford on their last meeting and have now opened up a three-point lead in the Premier League following their dismantling of Liverpool on Tuesday.
United won a pulsating two-legged Carling Cup semi-final with City in 2010, but lost at the same stage of the FA Cup last season and Ferguson admits his "noisy neighbours" are not going anywhere.
"The way we and our supporters should look at it is that we may as well get used to it, because they are not going to go away," the United boss told Inside United.
"We played them in a semi-final last year and the year before, we're both in the Europa League this year and now we are facing them in the FA Cup.
"So we have to get used to the fact that City are going to be challenging for competitions along with us.
"There's every chance we're going to meet at some point, maybe not every year, but on average it's going to be pretty regular.
"It's a hard FA Cup draw for us, but it will be hard for them too."