Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has insisted that the club are focused on finishing in the top four of the Premier League but refused to rule out the possibility of overtaking Manchester City in second.
City were dragged into the battle to qualify for the Champions League after losing 1-0 to Burnley last weekend.
The result gave Man United the opportunity to close the gap on their neighbours to two points, which they took by beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on Sunday.
Smalling says the result has given United the confidence to overtake City but insisted the club are staying focused on their main target of finishing fourth.
Speaking about the top four race, Smalling said: ”It is all very close. There is only a point between us and Arsenal [in third], and I think it’s very open all the way up to second place, so we will be aiming for that, especially when we are playing those teams coming up.
“We want Champions League football back here at Old Trafford. It’s a must. Fourth is the minimum but when it’s there, second is a realistic target and if we keep on performing like we did against Tottenham then I don’t see why we can’t give it a good push.”
It really cannot be said enough how vital it is for United to qualify for the Champions League this season.
Another year out of Europe’s elite competition would be disastrous for the club financially, as well as providing a dent to their reputation. While many fans will be pleased to hear that Smalling and his teammates are looking up at the table, they will hope United remain realistic in their ambitions.