Paul Scholes insists that Manchester United will secure a higher standing than Aston Villa and Tottenham following their 2-1 victory over Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.
Erik ten Hag’s team entered the game trailing their opponents by eight points, with both teams situated just beyond the Champions League qualification positions.
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However, United, currently sixth, narrowed the deficit to five points with a late goal from Scott McTominay.
Despite a tumultuous beginning to the season, United have closed the gap to just six points behind Tottenham, who currently occupy fourth place, as we approach the crucial stage of the campaign.
Scholes, a lifelong servant of Old Trafford, is confident that United will surpass both Villa and Spurs to secure a top-four finish.
Speaking on Premier League Productions, Scholes insisted: “I believed that [United would qualify for the Champions League] before the game.
“I always thought we had the chance. Once we got those players back – and I know I keep going on about that – but it was important to get them back, especially with the blend we’ve got now.
“We’ve got some really talented young players and I think United will actually finish about Tottenham and Villa; I think they’ll catch them both in the end and finish fourth. The next six games are very winnable – obviously one is against Manchester City, but who knows.”
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Ten Hag branded the result as “massive” but said nobody would be getting carried away despite beating a top-four rival.
The Dutchman said: “It is a massive win for us. We’ve got closer and that was the aim for today. That was absolutely our target and we’ve done it. The way we did it, I liked it.
“I especially liked the first 20 minutes when we controlled the game. At 1-1, we had to fight back and we are really happy for today. At 1-1, you always have to see how the game progresses. I think it was really high intensity and you could see how many players were fatigued by the end.”
He added: “I never think about negative situations. I’m thinking positively. We have to catch up but we are not there yet.
“We are in a good mood and we have to keep this process going, but there is so much space for improvement. There are many games left to play and we will see what happens.”