Ander Herrera believes the returns of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young from injury can inspire Manchester United to Champions League qualification.
Life after Sir Alex Ferguson began with a bump as two years ago the Red Devils failed to qualify for European football’s top competition for the first time since 1995.
That failure cost David Moyes his job and things this season have looked to be going the same for successor Louis van Gaal, only for back-to-back victories to put them within a point of fourth-placed Manchester City.
United’s 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium before the international break kick-started a mini revival that continued against Everton on Sunday – “very important” wins that make Herrera confident of pipping rivals City to the final Champions League spot.
“Man United should be every year in the Champions League,” the Spanish midfielder said.
“I think the last 25 or 26 years, just one time we didn’t play Champions League, so we want to be there.
“We are Man United, we as players are obligated to fight until the end and I think we have the quality to be there.
“Man City has a bigger squad, very good players, but I think right now we can fight against them.
“We have recovered some important players for us. They are going to help us and there is a lot of experience, like Antonio (Valencia) and Ash (Young). I am optimistic.
“I think the last game we showed that we are a little bit better than them right now, in this moment.
“We beat them away in the Manchester derby so we can be optimistic.”