Chris Wilder believes when his side are at their best, United are a match for any rival in the Sky Bet Championship.
But speaking ahead of Saturday's clash against Preston North End at Bramall Lane, the boss also says his staff and players will respect the opposition, in what is a fiercely competitive division.
He remarked: "We can't be arrogant enough to think this is us and we'll blast everyone away, we have to take into account the opposition and how they play.
"The good thing we can change our shape before and during games and the players are intelligent enough to adapt.
"The competition for places now is really good, but in an ideal world I'd prefer not to make too many changes to the starting XI."
The manager added: "The best eleven is based on current form, but sometimes it will be dependent on who we are playing, I don't think we'd ever make changes and abandon our philosophy though because when we're at our best we're a match for anyone in the division.
"But we have to realise we might have to tweak things, ideally though I want the players in possession of the shirt playing well and the lads on the outside taking opportunities when they come to give me a headache."