Ashley Young thinks Manchester United's record against the Premier League's other 'big six' teams this term will stand them in good stead as they plan a renewed challenge on Manchester City and the rest of the title contenders next season.
It is not the ideal situation to be in given they are still 16 points adrift of bitter rivals and champions City, but their improved consistency from last season means they are set to finish four places higher.
And although Young thinks United have been guilty of dropping points in games they should not have, he does at least feel their form against the other big clubs should give them some optimism ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, having beaten Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool in the last two months.
"It's been one of those seasons when, around Christmas, we were drawing games and had late goals against us," Young told reporters.
"When you look back at those kind of games, then you think the season could have been different.
"It wasn't meant to be, but we've put down a marker against the top-four, top-six clubs, but it's more than that.
"We have to win at other clubs as well. We have to win more games than we have done.
"We've been second for quite a lot of the season and it's nice to be able to rubber-stamp the Champions League qualification, but when you've been second so long, you want to finish it.
"We wanted to finish higher, but obviously weren't able to, and being second is how we want to finish now.
"We need four points and there are three games left in the league. We want to pick up as many points as possible."