"We need that character to get through the remaining matches successfully.
"It is very important for us to beat United if we are to win the title. But ultimately we must win all our remaining matches to be sure.
"At this stage of the season, any team is capable of dropping points so it is well within our reach to win the title."
Essien added: "The team is the most important thing. I'm not used to sitting on the bench but I will always give 100 per cent to the team and will continue to do that. I feel fresh and fit enough to finish the season on a high."