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Top four spot by end of year is impossible, admits Utd’s Mourinho

Manchester, Tuesday @PeopleSport11

Jose Mourinho has acknowledged Manchester United are unlikely to meet his target of climbing into the Premier League’s top four by the end of 2018.

However, the United manager has played down comments he made to Brazilian television suggesting that it would be a “miracle” if his team finished in the Champions League qualification places at the end of the season.

Mourinho set his players the challenge of reaching the top four by the end of December when they returned from the November international break to begin a run of eight league fixtures in the run-up to the New Year.

However, successive draws against Crystal Palace and Southampton, in which United produced below-par performances, has seen them slip to seventh and forced the manager to reassess that target.

Mourinho, though, is adamant he still sees a top-four finish in May as realistic, despite not denying the comments he made to a Brazilian television interviewer after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton.

“I don’t know if I said it or if I didn’t but if I used that word, it is not what I feel at all,” said Mourinho at his press conference on the eve of their match with in-form Arsenal.

“We are eight or nine points from fourth, something like that. “I don’t think we need a miracle at all. We need a good run of results. We need to not waste points that we shouldn’t waste.”

Mourinho, who reportedly clashed again with French World Cup winning midfielder Paul Pogba after the 2-2 draw with Southampton, said if some players performed better they could stay in touch with the top four and then finish in the Champions League spots at the end of the campaign.

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