Chris Smalling has said he is confident that Manchester United can establish themselves as a Premier League title threat over the coming games.
Monday’s hard-fought goalless draw with rivals Liverpool at Anfield stretched United’s unbeaten run to five matches, and they travel to manager Jose Mourinho’s former club Chelsea on Sunday.
And Smalling, stand-in captain with Wayne Rooney again on the bench, said: “I think the fixtures that we have got this week are ones that we can make a turning point this season.
“We got a clean sheet, which has not happened for a few games. Hopefully we can kick on now. Confidence is good.”
Asked whether he felt United could challenge for the title, he said: “I think we have got more than enough.
“I think we have shown we can score goals and on nights like this [Monday] we can keep a clean sheet and not give too many chances to them.
“We can do both sides of the job and it is about consistency now. We need to go on a little run and show people that we are a team that is a threat.”
Fenerbahce arrive at Old Trafford in the Europa League on Thursday before Mourinho makes his first return to Stamford Bridge.
Robin van Persie, whose goals three years ago won Sir Alex Ferguson his final Premier League title, will be part of the Fenerbahce team.
“I always enjoyed playing against Robin in training,” Smalling said of his former teammate.
“He is one who always trained very hard and it was nice to wind him up in training. I am looking forward to facing him on Thursday.
“In our home games we can’t afford to drop points because then we put ourselves under too much pressure in the two away games to come. This is a must-win game.
“We need to win on Thursday and I think we need to win on Sunday as well.
“If we can get four points out of Liverpool and Chelsea then we would have taken that at the start of the week. These are all big games.”