Nemanja Vidic feels Manchester United can land a major psychological blow by winning their game in hand against Fulham on Wednesday night.
The match was originally due to be played last August but was postponed due to United's presence in the European Super Cup between the winners of the Champions League and the UEFA Cup.
"Psychologically it would be very good to win this game in hand," said Vidic. "It will be difficult but we are determined to get the victory because when this match is over, we will have played the same number of games as everyone else."
He added: "Most of the time we have been a few points behind but if we beat Fulham we will be in a very good position."
Little did United think they would be five points clear of second-placed Liverpool, eight in front of Aston Villa and 10 ahead of Chelsea, which is the prize on offer for victory at Old Trafford.
After keeping 13 successive clean sheets in the league, it is perhaps no surprise United should find themselves on their present lofty perch.
But the Carling Cup finalists are still shocked at how quickly they have gained the upper hand given their fears heading to Japan for the Club World Cup in December.
"Immediately before that tournament we drew with Tottenham and were thinking how the table would look when we got back," said Vidic.
"But no-one took advantage and this is a time of year when we have always done well, so once we started playing our matches again, we caught up pretty quickly."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.