Andy Cole has urged Manchester United to use their promising season as a springboard for future success.
The Reds went top of the Premier League when they beat Burnley 1-0 on Tuesday evening.
Up next is a potentially huge clash against Liverpool as the league season reaches its halfway point.
Speaking on talkSPORT, former United striker Cole said he does not believe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has the depth in quality needed to maintain a title challenge in the second half of the campaign.
Yet he said that the positive feeling around Old Trafford should be used to strengthen and challenge for top spot next season.
He said: “Can Manchester United go onto win the league this season? Probably not.
“I think for Manchester United to be top on January 12, like Ole said, is a fantastic achievement considering where they were at a couple of months ago.
“Everyone was saying Ole shouldn’t be Manchester United manager and I think it speaks volumes how he’s turned it around and how they’ve got confidence to be where they’re at now.
“If you look at the league and teams like Manchester City, who have not played particularly well until about two or three weeks ago, they have two games in hand and can go a point behind Manchester United.
“The players are just coming into form. I think the players appreciate the quality the players have and the quality Liverpool have.
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Manchester United secured a vital 1-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday night to go top of the Premier League.
Paul Pogba scored the decisive goal in a hard-fought contest at Turf Moor, meaning United are now three points clear of Liverpool — who they face this weekend at Anfield.
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“And to close the gap in one season, that’s no mean feat, that’s going to take some consistency and those sides are yet to play very well.
“But to win it this season is going to take some doing.
“I don’t think we’ve got enough to go ahead and win it this season, but I feel we can look towards next season when I think it could be a lot better.”