English Premiership

Scholes believes Mourinho won't be happy with fourth

2017-03-30 13:37
Paul Scholes (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Paul Scholes believes Jose Mourinho won't be satisfied with fourth place this season and will be desperate to win the title, although the Europa League may be Manchester United's best route to the Champions League.

The 11-time Premier League winner believes Mourinho has done an excellent job at Old Trafford so far, even though the Red Devils are in fifth place, 17 points behind the Portuguese's former employers Chelsea.

"They have been on a fantastic run, without making much progress in the league," Scholes told Omnisport.

"You have to say, the quality in the Premier League is back to where it should be. There are probably five teams fighting for that top four.

"They have got three tough away games [against Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham]. If they can get through that with five or six points, they have got a great chance of finishing in the top four.

"He [Mourinho] has had to consolidate after a difficult couple of years. He has managed to do that, and he will want to kick on now. 

"He won't be happy with finishing fourth or fifth in the league. He will want to be up there trying to win the league. I believe in the next couple of years he will be desperate to do that."

With the battle for the European qualification places arguably tougher than before, Scholes feels United may face in easier task in trying to win the Europa League to qualify for the Champions League.

Mourinho's side face Anderlecht in the quarter-finals, having beaten Saint-Etienne and Rostov in previous knockout rounds.

"If they perform anything like [they can] they have got a great chance of winning," Scholes added. "I think Lyon are maybe the obvious contenders to United. But, apart from that, I don't see too many problems for them in that competition."

Meanwhile Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says he is "totally against" international friendlies following injuries to key central defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones on England duty.

Mourinho expects to be without five first-team players against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, including the injured Paul Pogba and suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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