Herrera acknowledges Manchester United need Champions League football

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The Red Devils are relying on Europa League success to position them back among the elite, with Jose Mourinho writing off a domestic top-four bid

Ander Herrera admits that Champions League qualification is “very important” to Manchester United and the club’s future plans.

The Red Devils slipped out of Europe’s premier club competition at the group stage this season, forcing them into the Europa League.

A final appearance is now within their reach, as they hold a 1-0 lead over Celta Vigo in their semi-final showdown, and success would position them back among the elite.

Mourinho: Man Utd under no pressure

Jose Mourinho is relying on a continental triumph to get the job done, having written off a top-four bid in the Premier League, and Herrera acknowledges that a club of United’s stature needs to be competing at the very highest level.

He told the club’s official website: "The most important thing is to be in the Champions League next season; I have no doubt for this club it is very important to be in the Champions League.

"We have two titles – the Community Shield and League Cup – and we can have a very good season if we fight for the Europa League. But we have to be very respectful because Celta are very difficult opponents overall.

Ander Herrera Manchester United

"They have scored away in every game they’ve played in the competition so we have to be aware of that.

“They are a very good team, very dangerous when they play away and we will need our fans at home. I tell them we really need them to create a good atmosphere, a difficult atmosphere for the opponents, who can push us to be in the final. It’s not going to be easy."

Mata: We will keep on trying

United welcome Celta to Old Trafford on Thursday for the second leg of their last four encounter.

Marcus Rashford’s stunning free-kick in Spain has their noses in front, with it looking increasingly likely that the victors in midweek will take in a final date with Ajax – as the Dutch giants hold a 4-1 advantage over Lyon on their side of the draw.