Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side have the mental fortitude to stay in the title race as they do not underestimate any opponent.
While much is being made of the significance of next month’s visits of Chelsea and Manchester City, their two main rivals, there are games to be won before that.
Sunderland visit tonight, followed by games against Tottenham and West Ham before the first of their two mouthwatering home clashes, when City come to Anfield.
Rodgers said: “I only need to look at the squad and we certainly have the strength of character and we have shown that over a period of time.
“We are up in that top area where we want to be but don’t underestimate any opponent.”
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits it is harder to find a reason for the Hammers’ recent run of defeats than it was during their poor spell at the turn of the year.
Having won four games in succession and hauled themselves out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three, Allardyce has seen his side slip to three consecutive defeats.
Those losses mean the Hammers are six points clear of the relegation zone, having played two games more than 18th-placed Sunderland, and they tackle Hull at Upton Park tonight looking to get back to winning ways.
“We haven’t achieved the results that the performances warranted,” Allardyce said.
“That is the disappointment for me because we knew the bad times we had in December and January were really down to the limited players we had available.
“At the moment we have just not got that instinctive, killer edge on the front line.”