Steven Gerrard admits he can sense a different feeling in the Liverpool dressing room this season – and it's giving him the confidence they can close the gap on Manchester United.
The Reds play host to the Old Trafford club at Anfield on Sunday afternoon aiming to maintain their 100 per cent start to 2013-14.
And Gerrard believes Liverpool are better positioned to challenge at the top of the Barclays Premier League table.
The captain told the Liverpool Echo: "That's something we have been trying to do for a long time, not just with changes in the summer.
"For a long time, the gap between ourselves and United, Chelsea and now Manchester City has been too big.
"Each year we have been trying to close that gap, so really this season isn't any different in that respect.
"But it does feel slightly different this year. The team spirit is really good and there is a belief within the squad.
"The changes the manager has made during the summer are really positive and hopefully there are still one or two more players to come in."
While Liverpool have picked up maximum points from their first two matches, United were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea at home on Monday having beaten Swansea City on the opening weekend.
Gerrard added: "United blew Swansea away and played some good stuff on the counter-attack, but against Chelsea on Monday both teams really cancelled each other out," he said.
"We know it's going to be a very tough match. I think they'll come here and probably look to play on the counter-attack again, but we're at home and have got to take the game to them.
"Our tails are up. We have won three games in a row, even if with the third one we did it the difficult way. Confidence is still high, even if the injury situation is not ideal going into such a big game. But we have got a squad that can cope.
"We didn't get what we deserved from the big games last year. To try and improve on that this season, we have to put in the same effort but learn to start turning draws into maximum points.
"For me, United and Everton are still the big two games of the season."