Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United are getting "better and better" after beating Burnley at Turf Moor to send them top of the Premier League.
A deflected Paul Pogba volley claimed the points that sent the Red Devils three points clear of champions Liverpool in a game they dominated throughout.
United chalked up a ninth league win in 11 games to lead the table at the latest point of a season since Sir Alex Ferguson's title-winning campaign in 2012-13.
They head to Anfield on Sunday knowing if they end Liverpool's record 67 unbeaten home league record they will send out a significant statement to their rivals.
"We are getting better and better," said the Norwegian. "We're in a good position. But no one will remember the league table on the 12th of January.
"Sunday is a test of character and quality. We're looking forward to it. It will be a great test of where we're at against the deserved champions and the best team by a mile in this country for quite a long time.
"We are ready, excited and hungry."
United should have won more comfortably but they were up against a resolute and in-form Clarets who had lost just once in six league game.
Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial went close before another controversial VAR decision left Solskjaer fuming on the touchline.
Robbie Brady brought down Edinson Cavani when the Uruguayan was through on goal, but the Irishman was saved a red card when after consulting the VAR monitor referee Kevin Friend brought play back for a Luke Shaw foul on Johann Gudmundsson earlier in the move.
Moments later Harry Maguire had a header harshly ruled out for a foul on Erik Pieters as United ratcheted up the pressure.
Burnley were finally breached with 20 minutes remaining when Pogba stepped on to a Marcus Rashford cross and rifled home from the edge of the box with the aid of a deflection.
Burnley had been largely toothless throughout but could have snatched an unlikely point in added time but James Tarkowski scuffed his close range effort into the ground with the goal gaping.
By Nick Royle