RYAN GIGGS believes Manchester United's experience will prove pivotal in the race for the Premier League title.
United drew level on points with rivals Manchester City on Boxing Day after eight wins from their last nine games.
They will go into 2012 clear at the top of the league if they avoid defeat to Blackburn on Saturday, with City not playing until Sunday.
And Giggs — who has been part of 12 title-winning sides — insists their greater knowhow of dealing with the pressure of a title run-in will be vital.
The veteran midfielder said: "The experience that the manager, the players and the coaching staff have of what's required in the second half of the season, as well as the overall hunger and desire to win competitions, will help us.
"Big players can't wait for big games. Towards the end of the season the games just get bigger and bigger.
"For me personally, you want that in the run-in — you want to be involved in big games and going for the title. That's why you become a footballer."
"It's been a strong start from us. Obviously City have got off to a better start but we're pleased with where we are in the table and especially the form at the moment.
"We'll just look to kick on as we always do in the second half of the season and hopefully we'll have a bit more luck with injuries and have a strong run after Christmas."