United’s draws with Fulham and Arsenal, combined with Liverpool’s injury time win against Fulham, all but confirmed that the reds won’t be playing Champions League football next season.

Juan Mata, who has just returned from warm weather training in Dubai, has claimed that the players haven’t given up on climbing the table though.

“The objective is to get to the Champions League spots,” he said. “It’s difficult because Liverpool are doing well, so are Arsenal, as well as Tottenham and Everton, who are all clubs also fighting for them, but I think we have a team who can do it. This is Manchester United. When this club wins two, three or four matches in a row, it has a very important mental strength, a winner’s mentality. We are coming and I think we can do it, but we have to win a lot of games first. This is a club that should always be fighting for the Premier League. I think, in the last 20 or 21 years, they’ve won 13 times. The mentality of this club is to win and fight for all the trophies. Unfortunately this year, things haven’t gone so well in the league, but I believe there is still time this season. With the mentality and the staff that we have, I believe we can climb up the table and win as many games as possible.”