Michael Carrick says Manchester United players will not celebrate the “bare minimum” of achieving a top-four finish.
United have missed out on Champions League football in two of the last three seasons, with Jose Mourinho’s side currently two points and two places outside the top four.
Carrick knows the Champions League is crucial to United, but the midfielder says achieving a top-four would not be seen as reason to celebrate.
“It’s not something we’d celebrate, if we finished third, fourth or even second,” Carrick told The Mirror.
“You only celebrate when you win, but the Champions League is a big part of this club. It’s where you want to play, it’s where the best players want to play.
“So in terms of attracting players and all that type of stuff, the club is geared up for that, of course it is, but you can only celebrate winning, really, and finishing top.”
With United currently in sixth, however, Carrick accepts that the Red Devils may have to stomach another season without Champions League football.
“In terms of the top four, you can’t say it’s unthinkable not to make it because it’s there,” he said. “You’ve got to achieve it, you’ve got to earn it.
“We’ve certainly got everything there to give us the best chance of reaching that goal, but the top four has got to be the bare minimum, really.”