Ander Herrera has insisted that Manchester United simply have to finish in the top four this season.
Jose Mourinho’s men, having managed just two Premier League wins from September to early December, entered the festive break nine points off fourth spot, leading to many dismissing their chances as top four candidates.
But following a recent resurgence in form, hallmarked by a nine-game winning run, Man United sit just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
And the Spaniard has made it clear that, alongside competing in the FA Cup, Europa League and the League Cup, United have to aim for a top four finish in May.
“But we’re still alive in three competitions and in the Premier League we have to finish in the top four,” he said.
“We will not be 100 per cent happy if we are fourth because we want to finish as high as possible but, minimum, we have to be in the top four and fight for the rest of the titles.
“That’s what this club is about – titles and trophies.
“I cannot lie. For our fans, it would be special to finish above them (Liverpool and City), but I think it will be very tough.
“We all want to be in the top four and there’s still a lot play for, but I think we are in a good moment. They can see ‘Man United is chasing us’.”
Mourinho’s side, all the way down in sixth, appear to still be on the periphery of what promises to be a seismic end to the season. But those currently occupying the top four will be wary of the potential damage United can inflict over the next two months.
The likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will collide in the coming weeks, making it inevitable that, someone, at some point, will fall behind in the end-of-season rat-race. United, on the other hand, don’t face any of the top five until April 15, leaving them plenty of time to close the gap as the season’s climax approaches.