Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United's heavy defeat at the hands of Liverpool last weekend has provided his players with a timely wake-up call.
United suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat for 17 years after losing 4-1 to their Merseyside rivals at Old Trafford.
But ahead of the vital closing period of the season, Ferguson believes the stinging defeat may well prevent his players from letting composure slip into their play.
"For weeks we've had to listen to eulogies and compliments about how great this side is and I've kept deflecting that and saying how tough this league is," said the veteran Scot.
"Everyone likes to read good things about themselves - particularly young players like to think they are the bees' knees all the time - but football's a game that comes back and bites you quite severely as we found out last week.
"That defeat was a reminder about how difficult this league is and in a way that will help us. We all now realise that there's a lot of work to be done.
"It's put us in a position to say let's get the show on the road again."
Meanwhile, Ferguson is predicting a tough encounter when he takes his side to Fulham on Saturday.
"They've had a great league campaign this season and Roy's (Hodgson) done a fantastic job in the sense that with five games left last season they looked down," he added.
"His experience and qualities have created a different Fulham and we expect a difficult game tomorrow."