Hitting the top of the Premier League in January is of no interest to Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Victory at Burnley tonight would see United go three points clear of fierce rivals Liverpool as the improving Red Devils mount an unexpected title charge.
But despite a 10-game unbeaten run presenting the chance to reach the summit for the first time since September 2017, Solskjaer (pictured above) insists it counts for little right now.
The United boss, 47, said: “The league table doesn’t matter currently.
“March and April is where the league would be decided. This is our catch-up game because we started later.
“It is about getting performances right and points on the board and not letting teams get away with it. We have done well recently.”
Solskjaer’s first aim is to secure a top-four spot — something United have only managed in less than half of the seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
The Norwegian added: “It is important to establish ourselves in the top four.
“We have only done that three times since Sir Alex left. It’s a different ball game to when I played.
“We finished third once, but now so many teams challenge and look at themselves as candidates.
“There weren’t that many teams able to challenge the top teams back then. In a good year, you win and in a bad year, you were second or third.
“There are so many strong squads now. It makes it more exciting than the last few seasons.”
Burnley have picked up three wins in five games to pull themselves five points clear of the relegation zone.
The Clarets scraped past MK Dons on penalties in the FA Cup at the weekend, with only a stoppage-time free-kick from Matej Vydra sparing them from an embarrassing exit.
Charlie Taylor, Kevin Long, Dwight McNeil and Jay Rodriguez are doubts for Sean Dyche’s side.
Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba are touch and go for United, who will be able to call on Edinson Cavani after a three-game ban for an inappropriate Instagram post.
Did you know?
Burnley won 2-0 at Old Trafford in their last Premier League meeting with United — they have not won consecutive league games against them since September 1968.
The Clarets have scored just one goal in their six Premier League home games against United.
United are the only side still unbeaten away from home in the Premier League this season, winning six of their seven games so far.