Darren Fletcher is confident Manchester United are in a position to 'kick on' during the second half of the season.
United will be top of the Premier League table at Christmas after local rivals City lost to Everton on Monday and remain the only unbeaten team in England.
Though the Red Devils' performances have lacked consistency, Fletcher believes the players have been laying the groundwork for the New Year.
The midfielder feels United are improving and is expecting the team to produce their traditional best form during the closing months of the season.
"We will kick on in the New Year," said Fletcher in the Daily Mirror. "We will certainly be physically ready for the challenges ahead.
"The performance of the team and individual performance levels are rising.
"As a general rule it's important you do your base work early on and then kick on after Christmas."