Sir Alex Ferguson is looking for his Manchester United side to build up a head on steam in the coming months.
A 2-0 victory against Blackburn at the weekend saw the champions get back on track in the Barclays Premier League, following their defeat by Liverpool. And United now have a big week.
They face CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday, when a fourth straight victory should secure a place in the next stage.
Then on Sunday they travel to Stamford Bridge for a meeting with leaders Chelsea.
Ferguson said: 'It is a tough league. We are experienced enough at this club to know how difficult it is to win the league.
'It is not going to be any different this year. The great thing about us is that we know it is a difficult league.
'Mistakes are going to happen - you lose games you do not expect to lose. You go for consistency - and if we are in there in January we have a great chance.'
That theme was taken up by by midfielder Michael Carrick, who said: 'It is always a big game at Stamford Bridge, no matter what the occasion is.
'When it is tight at the top like it is, after the defeat to Liverpool we do not want to lose track on the big teams - and it will be an important game for us.
'At this stage of the season, it is just about accumulating points and seeing where you are in the later stages.
'The table is changing week-in, week-out. But after Christmas, things tend to settle down a bit.
Game on: Carrick (right) is relishing United's trip to Chelsea
'Then maybe you get one or two that pull away - and we hope we will be included in that. You've just got to believe in yourself; if you do, anything can happen.'
Ferguson could hand a Champions League debut to French winger Gabriel Obertan, who came off the bench against Blackburn after recovering from a back injury - only to miss a sitter.
Carrick said: 'He will maybe get a little bit of stick - you cannot let him off for that. It was great for him to finally play - it's been a frustrating time, coming to England and not being able to get out there with the lads.
'Obviously it was disappointing for him not to score, but we hope there will be many more chances to come - and he'll put them away.'
United will again be without Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs, who missed the Blackburn match through injury.
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