Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Manchester United will have a real tilt at a Premier League title hat-trick providing they can get within three points of their major rivals on New Year's Day.
Nemanja Vidic's last-gasp strike allowed United to claim a 1-0 win over managerless Sunderland at Old Trafford, keeping them five points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.
"If we get within two or three points of the top two by the turn of the year, we will have a marvellous chance," said Ferguson.
"It has not been easy for us but we have coped very well. Our form has been very good."
United head to Tottenham next Saturday before leaving for the Club World Cup in Japan.
However, they will do so without Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney, who like the Frenchman is also suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season for a foul on Teemu Tainio.
In addition, Cristiano Ronaldo is a doubt after suffering a heavy bang on his hip which eventually saw him leave the field in bizarre fashion, the Ballon D'Or winner booting the ball out of play and then walking to the touchline before Ferguson had a chance to even get a substitute stripped.
"He got real kick on the hip-joint, just like Wayne Rooney did last year when he was in pain for a while and missed a couple of games,'' said Ferguson.
"We will see what he is like on Sunday, although I was going to make changes for the Champions League game against Aalborg on Wednesday anyway."
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