Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes it is foolish to write off Manchester United in the title race.
The Foxes host United on Boxing Day with the pair aiming to close the gap to Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
United are third in the table, just a point and place behind Leicester with a game in hand.
Rodgers’ side are four points adrift of leaders Liverpool as they mount their own challenge but he insisted it would be reckless to dismiss United’s title chances.
He said: “Yeah, absolutely. There’s sometimes a narrative around Manchester United, the big clubs have huge expectations, if you lose a game it’s a disaster.
“They will be disappointed going out of the Champions League because the history has been built on the great successes they’ve had in Europe.
“But we’re not even half way, they have played 13 games and they are a club who are expected to be up there. It’s a long season.”
United jumped to third after their 6-2 win over Leeds at the weekend.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under serious pressure this season following United’s early Champions League exit, while speculation has continued to surround Paul Pogba’s future.
Rodgers had to contend with similar issues around his players and his own future while at Liverpool and Celtic but insisted Solskjaer is handling the pressure well.
He said: “It’s not easy but what you have to do is filter all the negativity and narrative that may be there and throw it away. You don’t let it get in.
“I’m pretty sure whatever noise there is Ole seems very focused. You know with him there he wants the best for Manchester United.
“You have a genuine Manchester United man and he wants to get the club returned to its values and the level of winning they are used to.
“They have someone there who has been in that situation as a player who is looking to take that back as a manager.
“He also knows it’s going to take time because he worked with the best in Sir Alex Ferguson and for Sir Alex it took a bit of time because you’re giving young players opportunities.
“You regulate it, you know there is pressure there – it’s just what level it comes at you and you will find your own ways.”
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