Jurgen Klopp admitted he was baffled by the criticism his Liverpool side took after the last-gasp Anfield win over Leicester.
The Premier League leaders are eight from eight in the league this season and go into the weekend with an eight-point advantage at the top. Twelfth-placed Manchester United, by contrast, have endured their worst start for 30 years.
Nevertheless, there have been concerns expressed about recent performances with Liverpool enjoying a large slice of luck in their last two wins against Sheffield United, when goalkeeper Dean Henderson allowed the ball to slip through his legs, and Leicester, with an added-time penalty.
Klopp, who refused to be drawn into a debate about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position, though shrugged off the criticism at Melwood, saying: “Can we play better, yes of course.
“But first and foremost you have to play better in the moment and that is influenced by your opponent, different situations, last game, next game, whatever.
“I liked the Leicester game a lot but that’s over now and we don’t rely on winning a game without performing. I didn’t understand that people said we didn’t deserve to win. We were lucky in the moment to get the penalty but the game was 100% Liverpool. They had a lot of quality but we deserved to win.
“It is just about building on things and making the next step. We are not perfect but we are working on getting better.
“It worked out kind of so far and now the next challenge is a good opponent in a difficult situation and we should be ready for that as well.
“I am sure they (United) are all on their toes, ready and waiting for us.”
The German has not won in four visits to their arch-rivals’ ground, coming away with three draws and a defeat.
Liverpool’s last victory there came in March 2014, a 3-0 win by Brendan Rodgers’ side in their thrilling title challenge of that season.
In the Premier League they have won just five times in 27 visits, losing on 16 occasions.
But Klopp is a man whose mantra has always been to leave history where it belongs – in the past – and has no concerns about the statistics.
“I never really struggled with confidence to be honest. I am quite optimistic they (his players) have a chance,” said the Liverpool manager, whose side are looking to equal Manchester City’s Premier League record of 18 successive victories.
“History, in this case, is not really important. We are really looking forward to playing the game.
“If someone tells us I haven’t won there I wouldn’t have known. Let’s try for the first time and if we cannot win then perform in the best possible way and if they beat us ‘Congratulations’.
“We are not nervous because of the winning streak and the history we could make, we don’t think about it really. We are pretty relaxed but very ambitious as well.”