Nemanja Matic warned Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur that their season will not fizzle out and they are now fully focused on securing Champions League qualification after a disappointing FA Cup exit.
The Serb was part of the Manchester United side that crashed out to Wolverhampton Wanderers last Sunday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men beaten 2-1 away at Molineux.
Their lacklustre defeat to their Premier League rivals was a cause for concern for many United fans and it was a second loss on the spin following an equally poor display in a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates.
A tough Champions League quarter-final draw against Barcelona means United’s hopes of securing silverware this season are unlikely at best but they are still very much in the fight for a spot in Europe’s premier competition for the 2019/20 campaign.
Just four points separate third-placed Spurs and sixth-placed Chelsea, with four teams vying for only two top-four spots.
And Matic warned United’s Champions League rivals that his team-mates won’t give up the ghost without a serious fight.
‘We have to give our best now to reach the top four. We cannot let it go like this,’ said Matic.
‘There is a lot to play for. We have eight games to play in the Premier League and we are fighting for the top four. We have the Champions League as well. We will see what we are able to do and how much quality we have.
‘Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham will give their best to be in the top four. Everybody knows that. If you see two months ago we were 11 points behind Chelsea and now we are in a much better position.
‘We have eight finals to play for us so we have to learn from this.’
Solskjaer is expected to be appointed as Manchester United’s full-time manager after an impressive spell as caretaker and Matic doesn’t believe he should be penalised for two defeats on the spin.
‘I want Ole to stay. He is a great manager, very positive and the club will decide,’ said the United midfielder.
‘We will analyse this game to see where we made mistakes and see what we can do better. I am sure he will turn this situation around and we will do better.
‘When you win 10 games that means a lot because it is not easy. We have lost the last two away to Arsenal and Wolves. I am not making an excuse but we have lost to two good sides.’