The Premier League champions have been held to draws in each of their last two outings, against West Brom and Newcastle, allowing United to gain ground in the title race.
Liverpool may still be top of the table, but the Red Devils can go level on points with them if they beat Aston Villa on Friday evening at Old Trafford.
Everton also have the opportunity to go within one point of their local rivals if they beat West Ham on Friday, in what is shaping up to be an extremely competitive title race.
Manchester United are unbeaten in nine league games, winning seven of them, which has not gone unnoticed at Anfield, and Milner admits the league leaders must respond to the form of their challengers.
‘I think it [Liverpool’s current position] is a positive but it seems to be at this moment in time that nobody wants to take it by the scruff of the neck,’ said Milner.
‘But the world is in a very strange place at the moment and it’s the same in football. Everybody’s lives are upside down, it’s tough mentally for everybody and it’s the same in football. We just need to keep plugging away.’
The goalless draw with Newcastle last time out was a disappointment for Jurgen Klopp’s side, but Milner took the positives from the game, which saw Thiago Alcantara and Xherdan Shaqiri return from injury.
‘The amount of minutes some of the lads have played, it’s nice to see a few of the boys getting back,’ said Milner. ‘Thiago getting on, he showed his quality. I think where we are in the league we would have liked to have more points on the board.’
Liverpool are back in action on Monday at Southampton.