Manchester United captain Harry Maguire admitted that he was “proud” to lead his side to derby success over Manchester City but has now challenged his team to push to earn a Champions League spot.
United missed out on playing in the competition this season, while they have featured in the elite tournament only twice in the last five years, a record unbefitting of the history of the club.
The Red Devils are now fifth in the Premier League, five points shy of Chelsea in fourth in the final Champions League qualification spot.
Maguire wants to lead his side back to where they feel they belong and says that the 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, which came about thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, was a definite step in the right direction.
“The top four is in sight but we need to look after our own results and keep trying to get the three points, and keep improving,” he told the club’s official website . “We’ve got another big game next week against Everton.
“We need to keep winning games, we’ve won back-to-back games against Spurs and City.”
The former Leicester man reserved praise for the team’s front players, who have brought impetus to the side in recent weeks.
“It was a great start from the lads in the first half, the front four were frightening and, when they’re on their game like that, they can cause any defence problems,” he reflected.
“Over the last month or so, I feel like I look at the forwards and think they’re going to score goals. At the start of the season we didn’t really score more than one goal in a game but now, it’s a few games in a row where we’re back to scoring goals.
“They’re a big threat, they’re top talents and I think it’s all coming together now. We’re not getting carried away - it’s a big three points, a special win, one for the fans and I’m really happy for them. We just keep moving up that table and keep chipping away.”
On a personal note, the 26-year-old was delighted with the result.
“I feel really proud to lead the boys out at the Etihad and to get the three points,” he said. “It was an important game for us. I think the last two games, no one can question that we’ve deserved our victories.
“We knew they were going to come strong and throw everything at us. I think we held on well and I don’t think they created too much in the second half.”
Next up for United is a Europa League clash against AZ at Old Trafford.