David de Gea admits Manchester United’s eight-match winning streak will count for nothing if they are unable to break back into the Champions League places before the end of the season.
United are enjoying their best run of form in two years under caretaker-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the results have lifted the mood around the training ground at Carrington.
United host Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday, hoping to close the three-point gap to Chelsea in fourth place, and De Gea believes this must be the focus now after securing their spot in the FA Cup fifth round with victory over Arsenal at the Emirates on Friday.
David de Gea has been in sparkling form during United’s resurgence under Solskjaer
He told Sky Sports: “It’s clearly a great run of results, but we are still outside of the Champions League places and we’re very far from winning the Premier League. We’re happy with the wins, but we aren’t satisfied with the overall situation.
“This is a club that should be fighting for the title, but we are gaining in confidence, and we are going to try to achieve as much as possible from the rest of the season; winning games, hopefully getting into the Champions League places and doing well in the competition.”
De Gea accepts United’s hopes of winning the title ended a long time ago, but the Spaniard believes there is still plenty to fight for this season.
“It’s impossible to win the Premier League,” he said. “It was what we wanted before we began the season, this is a club that needs to win trophies.
“We want to get back into the Champions League places, which will be a difficult objective, but we have managed to reduce the points deficit quite a bit. We will fight until the end and if we stay in the form that we’re in, we will win matches.”
United were 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea on December 18 when Jose Mourinho was sacked and replaced by Solskjaer, but they are now three points off Maurizio Sarri’s side.
United’s improved form has been helped by three clean sheets in their past four games, and De Gea feels a settled back-line has contributed to restricting opportunities for their opponents.
He said: “It’s true that we had conceded a lot of goals in the first half of the season, and in the Premier League it’s hard not to concede, but we weren’t defending very well. We were giving up too many opportunities, but we’ve managed to control games better.
“We’ve had more of the ball, and have defended much better, minimising chances for our rivals, and we’ve won many games without conceding. This has given us more confidence and continuing in this way is the most important thing.”
United defeated Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor back in September, but Sean Dyche’s side head to Old Trafford with renewed confidence, despite the heavy FA Cup defeat at Manchester City, after going four games unbeaten in the Premier League.
De Gea added: “This is a team we know well. They are dangerous and we know the kind of style they will use against us. They like to put you under pressure with long balls, and they’re very dangerous at set-pieces.
“They’re on a good run of results but we’re playing at home, and we’re also on a good run of form, so we’re fully confident of winning all three points.”