Manchester United striker Robin van Persie believes, after the side came through the busy festive period unscathed, that they've already passed their first real test as they seek to win the league title this season.
Having picked up ten out of a possible 12 points on offer after earning victories against Newcastle, West Brom and Wigan, before drawing against Swansea all in the space of just 10 days, the team later kept their FA Cup hopes alive courtesy of a last-minute equaliser from the Dutchman away at West Ham.
During that sequence of games they also extended their lead at the top of the table over rivals Manchester City to seven points and Van Persie feels that they are in good shape to claim their 20th top flight crown still.
"December is always a difficult month and I feel we have come through this period as we wanted to," Van Persie told reporters.
"Hopefully we can now push on for the rest of the season."
The Dutchman has settled extremely quickly into his new surroundings so far this campaign, scoring 20 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions leading him to earn the club's Player of the Month award for December voted for by the fans, something which pleased the 29-year-old.
He added: "It’s always nice to be recognised by the fans.
"I have settled into the club quite quickly and I am really enjoying playing in this team. I would like to thank the fans for all their support.
"It’s not all about scoring goals, but obviously that does help. It’s great that so many players have scored goals over the season so far."