Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard knows time is running out for him to end his career-long search for a league title but remains hopeful it is not an impossible quest.
The 32-year-old is confident he will play on beyond the end of his current contract, which expires at the end of next season, but accepts factors are loaded against him to win the championship.
Gerrard said: "I'm not really one who looks back, I look forward, and I am never going to give up fighting for the title. But I'm realistic about where the team is at the moment and how much hard work and improvement needs to be done if we are to compete for it. Have I got the time on my side? No. Is it impossible? No."
He added: "I know I am good enough to play in a side to win the league and I know I am a good enough player to win the league but sometimes stuff is out of your control."
Gerrard has been at Liverpool since the age of nine and although he had offers to leave - twice turning down Chelsea - he has remained loyal to Liverpool, a decision for which he has been criticised.
"I have no regrets over the decisions I have made," said the England international at the launch of his new book My Liverpool Story.
"I am really happy I stayed. I am the captain of the club I love and this club means more to me than any other club out there.
"Of course I'd love a Premier League winner's medal and that may have happened if I'd moved clubs but would that league title mean as much to me as the other trophies I've won here? No - fact."
Since Liverpool ran United so close in 2009 in the Premier League title race the club's fortunes have taken a significant dip, having finished seventh, sixth and eighth. That combined with the emergence of other clubs has made the Reds' task of regaining a top-four spot, never mind challenging for the title, even more difficult.
"It is no good us worrying about the power of Chelsea and Manchester City," said Gerrard. "But there is no two ways about it, if there was no Roman Abramovich (Chelsea owner) or the guy (Sheikh Mansour) who bought Manchester City I'd have two or three league titles sitting here now."