Ahead of the derby match against Manchester City on Wednesday night, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists that catching Chelsea is the club's real priority.
The current champions have led the whole of the 2010/11 season and despite the talk of the shift in power between the two Manchester clubs, Ferguson’s focus is still to close the gap on Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
When asked about the growing test Roberto Mancini’s side are providing, the Scot told his club's official website, "It’s not as big a challenge as Chelsea.
"Excuse me; Chelsea won the league last season. That is our challenge. We have to chase Chelsea and we will.
"If you don't recognise who won the league the year before, you're very foolish. It is not easy winning the league, even if it was only by a point.
"They still won the league and they're a very experienced, formidable side and anybody who finishes above Chelsea will win the league."
Manchester United have been plagued by injuries and illness in recent weeks, but they still go into tonight’s derby on the back of six consecutive wins — the last one coming in last-gasp fashion at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Although the Reds were not firing on all cylinders during their eventual 2-1 win, Ferguson was still pleased with the spirit shown by the team.
"I listened to the BBC's 'Match of the Day' on Saturday night saying we were hopeless," he said.
"We'd five world class players out of the team: [Antonio] Valencia, Nani, [Michael] Owen, [Dimitar] Berbatov and [Ryan] Giggs. We are playing with three players upfront with only 30 games between them, and we still won 2-1.
"I thought our result on Saturday was a fantastic achievement given all the problems we had in the dressing room. Vida [Nemanja Vidic] and [Patrice] Evra struggling really badly, Scholesy [Paul Scholes] I couldn't use but I got 15 minutes out of him, and when he came on he was nothing like Scholesy, but the effect of being on the pitch made a difference, just through his presence.
"So the achievement of ours on Saturday, with our young players, was an amazing achievement. That is what we have to concentrate on — ourselves.
"It doesn't matter where the challenge comes from in football, you have to accept them."