Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged Wayne Rooney to score a goal in every game to fire Manchester United to the Premier League title.
The Red Devils have the opportunity to open up a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table with victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park on Monday night.
City's shock 3-3 home draw with Sunderland on Saturday has handed the initiative firmly to their rivals and Ferguson admits the form of his star forward in the coming weeks can be crucial.
The England international has already netted 21 Premier League goals this term and has been backed to continue finding the net on a regular basis.
Ferguson told reporters: "Wayne has scored something like 17 out of 17. He can keep averaging a goal a game - eight more goals - we could reasonably expect that.
"Goals are definitely going to be a factor in the championship.
"We've had 18 goalscorers this season which is good. Berbatov has nine, Welbeck 10 and Chicharito 12.
"Usually, we have had one outstanding scorer - Cristiano Ronaldo or Rooney. Last year, the sensation was Chicharito."
Blackburn caused one of the shock results of the season when they triumphed 3-2 at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve, and Ferguson will be taking nothing for granted against Steve Kean's relegation battlers.
He added: "We never have it easy up there. Points will be dropped at some stage - you just hope you don't drop as many as your rivals.
"We won the league with 75 points in 1997 and the year we won the Treble we did it with 78. I still cannot believe that.
"Earlier this season, I thought 82 would do it but not now."