Edwin van der Sar has called on his Manchester United team-mates to grasp the moment and not allow their rivals back into the Premier League title hunt.
Although United are on FA Cup duty at Southampton on Saturday, thoughts of next Tuesday's encounter with Aston Villa will shape Sir Alex Ferguson's team selection at St Mary's.
Victory will consolidate their present position, five points in front of Arsenal, with Manchester City and Chelsea even further adrift.
It is an unexpected advantage, even to those inside Old Trafford, but it is one that should not be tossed away lightly.
"We didn't get the results we were looking for at the beginning of the season but luckily we got a break with some of the other results," the veteran Dutchman told MUTV.
"Somehow we found ourselves on the top of the league, without having played that well so far. But we are there, so we have to and try to stay there as long as possible."