David Moyes needs Sir Alex Ferguson right now like he needs a defeat at Sunderland tonight.
The former emperor of Old Trafford is out of sight, but not out of mind. His spirit is killing the new Manchester United manager softly.
For that reason, he must stop talking.
Ferguson means well, but every utterance, compliment and seemingly balanced opinion will be misinterpreted or misconstrued by frustrated Red Devils and an occasionally malevolent media.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. A defeat by West Brom makes the heart grow desperate. Right now, the gruff, uncompromising Scot is Martin Luther Ferguson, an unimpeachable saint and the saviour of the Manchester multitudes.
If the defeats continue to pile up - particularly if the unthinkable happens at the Stadium of Light - then Fergie's achievements will become practically mythical. No man alive could possibly live up to them.
That's why the hair dryer needs to be unplugged until Moyes finds a winning rhythm (if he doesn't, then Ferguson interviews will be the least of his problems).
Clearly, the United director is trying to support his anointed successor, but his public comments this week are acting as mischievous shovels, digging a deeper hole for Moyes. He is struggling to climb out. The air must be suffocating down there.
In an interview with American TV this week, Ferguson revealed that Roman Abramovich asked him to lead his Chelsea revolution in 2003. In fairness to the loyal Scot, he joins Pep Guardiola as possibly the only managers in world football to spurn the Russian's advances.
But why make this public now?