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Friday, March 1, 2024

‘If they keep’ – Gary Neville asked if Man Utd could secure top-four Premier League finish, he immediately responds

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Manchester United legend Gary Neville has dropped his telling verdict on whether or not Erik ten Hag’s men can climb back into the Premier League top four this season.

Erik ten Hag has strongly warned his Manchester United players that they can no longer afford any slip-ups if they hope to secure Champions League football.

United have endured an up-and-down season and a mixed bag of results in their campaign has left Ten Hag’s men with an uphill task of finishing in the top four.

However, the Red Devils have been in a rich vein of form since the start of 2024 and United are currently undefeated in six matches across all competitions.

United have also won their last three consecutive Premier League matches, including a 2-1 win against top-four rivals Aston Villa on Sunday at Villa Park.

The Red Devils also defeated Wolves 4-3 away from home and picked up a 3-0 victory against West Ham at Old Trafford in the Premier League this month.

Ten Hag’s men are in sixth place after their win over Aston Villa, with Unai Emery’s side five points clear in fifth and fourth-place Tottenham six points ahead.

READ MORE: Paul Scholes identifies two ‘quality’ Man Utd stars who will tip them for top-four finish after Aston Villa win


Aston Villa v Sheffield United - Premier League

Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

Neville on Man Utd’s top four ambitions

Manchester United’s top-four Premier League challenge has tough tests lying in wait, including a trip to the Etihad next month for their clash with Manchester City.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Gary Neville was asked if he believed that the Red Devils could mount a sensational run into the Premier League top four this season.

The Sky Sports pundit admitted that United could “claw it back,” but Neville has raised his concerns over both Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw.

Shaw was withdrawn during the Aston Villa match due to a potential injury scare and replaced with Victor Lindelof, who polarised fans with his display at left-back.

Martinez, on the other hand, has been ruled out with injury after he limped off during United’s Premier League win against West Ham at Old Trafford.

“They can claw it back [United’s Champions League ambitions],” he said.

“They’ve been appalling in the first half of the season. They’ve lost so many matches it’s untrue.

“If they keep their players fit, which is a big question mark because it looks like they’ve lost another two with [Lisandro] Martinez and [Luke] Shaw in the past week, they have got a chance.

“Because, of course, they are better when they have their strength in their team. All teams are when they have their players back.”

Ten Hag on Man Utd’s record this season

Ten Hag has defended his away record against the top sides this season, with the United boss claiming that beating the bigger Premier League teams relies on “belief.”

“I think we can beat any opponent away or home,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“But sometimes, we have to believe it more.

“Because then we could have won at Arsenal, where actually we deserved to win. We could have won at Liverpool.

“It’s about belief, and I think this team today believed that they could win this game, and that’s why, in the end, you win the game.”

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