Vincent Kompany wants his Manchester City team-mates to seize the moment ahead of a decisive two weeks in their "incredible" 2017-18 campaign.
Either side of the Manchester derby there is the small matter of a mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final showdown with Liverpool – the only team to have beaten Pep Guardiola's EFL Cup winners in England's top-flight so far this season.
"It starts from now, really," said club captain Kompany, who has endured a wretched record away from home against both Merseyside clubs during his decade-long association with City.
"Until the international break I didn't really think too much about it but we go to Goodison Park and we go to Anfield.
"That's as hard as it gets but we worked hard this season to be in this position. It's a good two weeks for us to look forward.
"We've got a big squad and a down-to-earth squad. We know that, as much as we've been incredible this season, these games are against teams like United who will want to hurt us.
"Liverpool has been the toughest game so far for us this season. So go steady and we'll get there - prepare well and be in the best condition to have a good result."
Kompany's long-standing calf issues kept him out of both Premier League matches against Liverpool.
A 5-0 win over Jurgen Klopp's men at the Etihad Stadium in September was aided by Sadio Mane's red card for a dangerous challenge on City goalkeeper Ederson but the Reds hit back with a stunning 4-3 win on their own patch in January.
"They are a very hard-working team, they have goal scoring threats all over the pitch, not just the main guys.
"They have strengthened defensively. They are definitely further along as a team than they were earlier in the season and you can see it in the way they've been playing recently.
"But that's what we enjoy to play against. There's a lot to say about our team as well."