Dimitar Berbatov remains “convinced” that Manchester United will secure a top-four finish this season, but the former striker is looking for the Red Devils to raise their game and have opponents “chasing them”.
Those at Old Trafford were once accustomed to leading from the front, with Sir Alex Ferguson overseeing 13 Premier League title triumphs.
A humbling tumble from the loftiest of perches has been endured since then, with United still working on climbing back up domestic and continental trees.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has offered cause for optimism in 2020, with his side currently unbeaten through 18 games in all competitions.
They did, however, allow two precious points to slip through their grasp in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Southampton last time out, meaning that there is still work to be done in order to secure Champions League qualification.
Berbatov believes that line will be crossed, but the Bulgarian is eager to see United become an imposing force once more.
A man who spent four years at Old Trafford in his playing days told Betfair: “United's draw against Southampton was disappointing. I'm sure United's staff and players were unhappy about missing the opportunity to go third, especially as it was their concentration which let them down.
“Winning the match would have made their jobs easier and put pressure on the teams around them.
“A top-four finish is still there for the taking. It is a positive that they didn't lose against Saints and hopefully that point will prove critical come the end of the season.
“Killing teams off has always been the United way. Against Southampton, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's players did all they could to kill the game off but their opponents played good football, they pressed the ball and tried to keep it, so they deserve a lot of credit.
“Killing off the opposition and scoring plenty of goals must be on the agenda for United every game, and to do that they need concentration and consistency.
“I was part of a United team that scored so many late goals and I also played against United teams that did that. If you ask any player, they will say it hurts when you concede so late. Especially when you are chasing a title, a cup or top four. I think those players will be hurting after that match.
“I am still convinced that United will finish in the top four but I cannot state it enough: they need to improve their concentration. They need to be 100 per cent switched on in every game, they can't afford to concede early goals, they don't want to be chasing games. This is Manchester United and it should be the opposition chasing them.
“When you go ahead, teams have to open up, that creates more space for the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to use their speed and terrorise defenders.
“The chances are still there for them, Chelsea and Leicester have had a few slips recently, so I am still confident that United will finish in the top four.”
United’s top-four fate is still in their own hands with three games to go, as they are due to end the 2019-20 campaign with a trip to the King Power Stadium, and their next outing is set to see them face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday.