Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick insists a top-four finish in the Premier League would be no reason to celebrate.
Despite a 15-match unbeaten league run, Jose Mourinho’s men are sixth in the table, albeit just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
With Chelsea seemingly running away with the title, as many as six clubs are fighting for the three spots behind Antonio Conte’s team.
But Carrick – a five-time league winner whose future at United is uncertain – said no celebrations would be had if Mourinho’s side secured a top-four spot.
“It’s not something we’d celebrate, if we finished third, fourth or even second,” he 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.”
Part of their long unbeaten run has seen United held by the likes of Stoke City and Hull City in recent matches.
Carrick said qualifying for the Champions League was the minimum expectation at Old Trafford.
“In terms of the top four, you can’t say it’s unthinkable not to make it because it’s there. You’ve got to achieve it, you’ve got to earn it,” he said.
“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.”
United look to continue their top-four push when they host Watford on Saturday.