Ander Herrera is confident that Manchester United can pip rivals Manchester City for the fourth Champions League qualification spot in the Premier League this season.
Louis van Gaal’s side are battling to ensure that they avoid a repeat of two years ago when United failed to qualify for Europe’s top competition for the first time since 1995.
David Moyes was subsequently sacked from the Old Trafford hot-seat because of that failure and the same fate could await Van Gaal if the Red Devils miss out again.
Sunday’s 1-0 home win against Everton left United fifth in the table, just one point behind City with seven matches remaining, while West Ham will still feel they are in with a shout being just three points off fourth spot.
Herrera accepts that City have a strong squad packed with quality players but he feels United’s recent 1-0 derby win at the Etihad Stadium and the return to fitness of several key men from injury will sway the pendulum in their favour.
The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder said: “We are Man United, we as players are obligated to fight until the end and I think we have the quality to be there. Man City has a bigger squad, very good players, but I think right now we can fight against them.
“We have recovered some important players for us. They are going to help us and there is a lot of experience, like Antonio [Valencia] and Ash [Young]. I am optimistic. I think the last game we showed that we are a little bit better than them right now, in this moment. We beat them away in the Manchester derby so we can be optimistic.”
United are 2.50 to secure a Top 4 finish this season, while City are 1.40.