David de Gea has made it clear that winning the FA Cup and finishing in second spot is not good enough for a club like Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho’s men have held onto second spot throughout the campaign but essentially handed Pep Guardiola’s men the title in December.
They will likely finish second – with a maximum total of 86 points – and have a chance to win a third trophy in two years under Mourinho.
But De Gea, who claimed his fourth Sir Matt Busby ‘Player of the Year’ award on Tuesday, has stressed that Man United have to do more.
“It has not been quite enough this season,” he said.
“Fair enough we are battling to hang on to second place and hopefully we will fire until the final game to ensure that happens, but we have not managed to win our initial target which was to win the Premier League title.
“That is what we are all here for, that is what the players at the club want and also to give a good account of ourselves in the Champions League but we have also not managed to do that.
“Obviously the FA Cup is very important, a nice trophy to win, and we are going all out to win that.
“But it is not quite enough – we are Manchester United and have to aim for bigger and better things, that has always got to be our focus.
“Next season is a new season and we have to improve in a number of areas. We have to fight to be involved at the end of the season. It is not just Manchester City we will be challenging next season, five or six teams fight for the Premier League. It is a case of hard work to be in there at the wire.”
United can look at their points total in the Premier League and see significant progress. For a team that has finished seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, breaking the 70 point barrier only once, Mourinho’s team have managed a points tally that, at the very least, would have guaranteed something of a title chase for the first time in what feels like eons.
They have more points with three games left than Leicester City did during their victorious title winning campaign; they are likely to surpass the 81 points United needed to win the title in 2011. In other words, they are close.
But the sight of Manchester City rampaging towards 100 points in the Premier League, along with Liverpool reaching the Champions League final, serves as a reminder to United that they cannot take their foot off the pedal for one second. The bar has been raised, and United have to be up to it.