Erik ten Hag insists Manchester United can ignore the threat from Liverpool despite a recent blip that allowed their rivals back into the race to finish in the Premier League’s top four.
Ten Hag’s side are just one point ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool as they try to cling on to fourth place.
United were firmly in control of the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League until successive defeats against Brighton and West Ham gave Liverpool renewed hope.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have reeled off six consecutive victories to leave United looking nervously over their shoulder.
But the Old Trafford outfit, who host Wolves on Saturday, have a game in hand on Liverpool, who travel to Leicester on Monday.
And Ten Hag is adamant they have no reason to fear the challenge from Merseyside.
“Of course we can ignore it. Why not? Because it’s not important,” Ten Hag said on Friday.
“We have everything in our hands and as long as we have things in our hands, so we are in control. As long as that, we are not dependent on them, we are dependent on ourselves.
“The important thing is the opponent we face tomorrow, Wolves. We have to take them seriously. They have done a great job. We focus on that.”
United will hope to have opened up a four-point cushion by the time Liverpool play Leicester.
But Ten Hag says his squad are remaining calm.
“We are convinced with what we are doing, we have a lot of success, we have won a lot of games,” he said.
“The way we work, the way we’re playing, the structures are really clear but we have to execute them and show 100 percent discipline in rules and principles. When we do that, we are successful.
“There’s a strong bond and a really good ambience at Old Trafford. It’s difficult for opponents to go there and face us.”
England forward Marcus Rashford is a major doubt for the Wolves games, while French centre-back Raphael Varane returns after a month out.
Rashford, United’s top scorer this season with 29 goals, is struggling with a leg problem.
His injury comes at a time when United have scored only three goals in their past six games in all competitions, with Wout Weghorst, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Antony all enduring barren spells.
“Marcus is a big question mark for tomorrow but we are happy Rafa is back,” said Ten Hag. “He has experience, he knows how to win and will lead us in how to win, he will guide us.”