Marcus Rashford has conceded it would be a disappointment if Manchester United are not in the top spot they now occupy at the end of the league season given their objective is to win the title, and he is relishing the chance to prove their credentials against defending champions Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrive at Anfield on Sunday three points clear of their opponents and enjoying a 15-game unbeaten run in the division.
United will be at the summit going into a league meeting with the Merseysiders for the first time since January 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Rashford insists being in that position will only excite the team if that’s where they finish the campaign.
“It is going to be a good feeling if we manage to win the league – if we finish second or third, it is not going to be a good season for us, it is not what we set out to try to do at the beginning of the year,” he said.
“We are a team which is still improving, we are in a good run of form, so we have to just try to keep focusing on ourselves and do the best we can do.
“As long as we do that, you walk off the pitch with no regrets.”
Rashford, who has scored three goals in his last four league matches against Liverpool, feels “there are no better games” as a United player than meetings against Klopp’s men and Manchester City.
While Sunday’s kick-off can’t come fast enough, he appreciates it will be a tough ask to win at Anfield, where the hosts are unbeaten in 67 home league fixtures, winning 55 of them.
“As a kid from Manchester that supports United, there is no bigger games to score goals in.
“It is definitely a game I am looking forward to, like the rest of the squad. Hopefully we will be able to go there and win, but they are hard to beat at home. For us to beat them we are going to have to be at our best, it is as simple as that really.
“Nothing changes for us, we try to be at our best for every single game. We will approach that game in the same way. If you do that, as players if you give all you can give, you know that when you come off the pitch you have left everything out there, there is not much else you can do.
“You can be down about the result if it does not go your way, but other than that, you know you have given yourself the best chance of winning the game and that is what we will go there and do.”
Rashford believes United boast the most versatile offensive options in the league and that an “unbelievable connection” is brewing in attack where Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood have been instrumental in powering them to the status of pacesetters.
“Ultimately we are more dangerous, we can score goals at any time,” he said. “But we can do much better. I believe it is still the start of something which can go on to be an unbelievable connection.
“Just the forward line in general at the moment which we have – we can play in so many different ways, in different positions with different personnel. We can just be so strong and for us, that is what is key because if we want to win trophies and win the leagues, then you need versatility.
“I believe that we have one of the most versatile squads probably in the Premier League, especially going forwards. It is exciting, but it is the beginning of something, we want to keep progressing and keep improving.”
Rashford also flagged an increase in leadership qualities from United, an offshoot from navigating setbacks as a group.
“I think it has always been there, but over the year it has had to come out because we have already experienced things which we didn’t want to happen or expect to happen – getting knocked out of the Champions League, losing the semi-final of the Europa League,” he said.
“There are things which have happened where if you don’t come out and be a leader, someone that the squad can look to in difficult moments, then it will continue to happen. We have to show we are ready to fight for what we want – and what we all want is success.
“We are more ready now than we were two years ago in terms of leaders on the pitch and ready to fight for trophies.
“But still, we need to get our hands on those trophies.”