Derby County manager Paul Clement will turn to Carlo Ancelotti for help in dealing yet another telling blow to Manchester United's season.

The Rams host Louis van Gaal's side in the FA Cup fourth round on 29 January after United scraped through a third round meeting with Sheffield United at home, needing a last-minute penalty to eek past the League One side.

United also struggled against lower league opposition in this competition last season, looking far from their best against Yeovil Town and Preston North End while needing a replay to get past League Two's Cambridge United. Another meek performance on Friday could have dire consequences for the under pressure Van Gaal.

Clement served as Ancelotti's assistant coach at Real Madrid before heading into management himself and while his side have suffered heavy defeats in their last two league games, he is hoping some words of advice from his old colleague can help deepen United's woes.

Asked whether he will target United's propensity to panic in the FA Cup, Clement was quoted as saying by The Times: "I think so, and the players know about those things as well. I am not sure it will quite be a giant killing if we get a good result. It is a challenge we are really looking forward to up against a team that is not in great form. I'm in regular contact with Carlo. If I really need him I know he will be there for me.

"Will I speak to him before this game? Yes, I think I will. He will tell me to work with the players, get close to the players and ignore everything else. He always used to say 'control what you are in control of'."

Following defeat to Southampton, Van Gaal is under mounting pressure at Old Trafford. The club's tally of 37 points is their lowest ever in the Premier League after 23 games and having failed to score in the first half of 11 consecutive games at Old Trafford, the club have also recorded their worst goals-per-game ratio in the Premier League era.

Despite the mounting concern over the Dutchman's style of football, Clement has defended his fellow manager, insisting his pedigree in world football should speak for itself.

"I don't know if he should take responsibility for the style. It's the choice of the coach and about the history of the club and what the fans are used to. I'm not sure they got the wrong man. When you look at the big clubs — Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, United — there are very few people who can do those jobs, and Van Gaal is absolutely on that list."