Manchester United’s focus this season should solely be fourth place and a spot in the Champions League, according to former striker Dwight Yorke.
David Moyes’ side currently sits seventh in the table following the 2-0 win over Cardiff, trailing leaders Arsenal by 12 points. They have been knocked out of the FA Cup as well as the League Cup.
United topped it’s Champions League group but Yorke insisted that the players must forget the disappointment and below-par show in domestic football so far this season.
“You just need to put those results, everything, behind you,” Yorke told Al Jazeera.
the players simply haven’t performed to the level and expectation we know they can perform at
“Now you need to look at fourth place and that is definitely gettable. That is the main focus and the target because Champions League, that’s what United is all about. That will be Moyes’ priority now – to get into the event – and regroup next season.”
United suffered three successive defeats in seven days earlier this month - for the first time since 2001 - and are currently six points off fourth-placed Liverpool with 15 games remaining.
The Premier League champions’ inability to convert chances and finish off games has contributed to the downfall. While much focus and blame has been put on Moyes’ shoulders, Yorke, who scored 48 goals for Manchester United in 96 matches, pointed his finger at the players as well.
“Moyes will take part of the blame but some players are equally responsible too. They simply haven’t performed to the level and expectation we know they can perform at. It’s a difficult one to swallow but that is how things are.”
United's match against Cardiff on Tuesday saw club-record signing Juan Mata don his number-eight jersey for the first time and also the return of United legend Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to Old Trafford – as Cardiff manager.
“Mata’s signing is also key for United. He’s a fantastic player and it’s a big boost to the team, Moyes and the fans that he’s here.”
While United have lost five league games at home, goals from Robin van Persie and Ashley Young meant Manchester United became the first club to earn 1,000 home points in the Premier League.