"It is unusual for so many results to go your way when you are at the top, so what happened on Saturday put a bit more pressure on us against Villa," he said.
"There was more riding on the outcome, and the supporters were arriving with greater expectations than usual.
"There have been times this season when we have found that difficult to cope with, not least against West Ham on a Monday night in December. There was a big sense of expectancy, because a lot of teams had dropped points over the weekend, but we failed to capitalise and drew 0-0.
"It was different this time, though, and I think we showed there is an improved mental strength throughout the team. Being top was new to us earlier in the season. We weren't used to it.
"But we are maturing and getting used to the demands of fighting for the title. We know how to deal with it now, and when we stepped out against Villa, we were all a lot calmer.
"Winning 5-0 will have sent out a message to United and Chelsea. Let's not kid ourselves, they will have been watching the game. It is still in United's hands, but we will carry on putting them under as much pressure as we can."