The struggling Cottagers head coach takes on Sheffield United in an FA Cup fourth-round replay tonight knowing another poor result will only increase the mounting pressure on him.

The Dutchman will field the youngsters at Craven Cottage as he keeps his key players back for Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash at Manchester United. It is on league results that the Dutchman knows he will ultimately be judged – but he is adamant he does not fear for his job.

The irony of the situation is that Meulensteen was appointed head coach to manager Martin Jol to help the former Tottenham boss back in November. Less than three weeks later Jol was sacked and Meulensteen took over.

Now Muelensteen has brought the vastly experienced former Charlton and West Ham boss Cuirbishley in to help him, and speculation has already begun to mount that too many more poor results – Fulham have lost eight of the 11 league games played since the Dutchman took over – could see Curbishley drafted in.

But Meulensteen insisted: “I’m not worried that Alan is going to take my job. Not at all. I brought Alan into this club as part of my squad. He’s as much responsible as myself, Ray Wilkins, and the rest of the staff. We’re all in this together.

“I wanted Alan here for these scenarios. He is utterly 100 per cent supportive of me, Ray and all the others. We keep making sure we move forward in the right way and get the right plan together for the next couple of months.