Manchester United may have won just two of their last five premier league matches but manager José Mourinho is confident his side can close the gap on their Top Four rivals.
United who are currently eighth in the premier league table – five points behind Arsenal who occupies the fourth place position – travel to the Dean’s Court to face an in-form Bournemouth side and Mourinho believes victory on Saturday can serve as a springboard to making champions league places.
Mourinho, however, wouldn’t be drawn into whether his side are still in the title race.
“When you are outside the top four I don’t believe you should speak about the title,” Mourinho cautioned.
“When you are in the top four – which I believe we are going to be – you can look up, see the distance, see the fixtures, you can look at the situation at that moment with injuries, suspensions and form, then you can feel it.
“In this moment, we are outside the top four so I think the point now is to get the points we need and to try to be in a better position by the end of December, like I expect to be.”
The Red Devil’s coach also remained tight-lipped over United’s winter transfer plans.
Several reports in England suggests that Mourinho would like to bring in a high-profile central defender in January and has held a series of positive discussions in that regard with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. The Portuguese tactician however rebuffed questions on the subject, insisting his focus is on improving the player he currently has.
“At this moment we have to focus on ourselves and do better,” Mourinho emphasized. “Until the end of December, we have to focus on ourselves – in the potential we have, in the problems we have and in the qualities we have – and try to go.
“In this moment we are outside the top four and we have to push hard and work hard to improve and try to get into this top-four position.”
Two players whose fitness had been in doubt for the past two weeks are Jesse Lingard and Alexis Sanchez but Mourinho insists both are fit for the trip to Bournemouth.
“Jesse and Alexis are in a much better position than last week,” Mourinho said. “Last week was an effort from them to be available to help the team.
“But now it is a different story. Now, Alexis and Lingard are after one good week of work with the team. They are ready to play really.”
Manchester United are nine points behind league leaders Manchester City after an indifferent start to the season.