Ander Herrera admits Manchester United are already sweating on a top-four finish in the Premier League, with upcoming fixtures having become must-win for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Struggles for consistency in 2018-19 have the Red Devils sat eighth in the English top-flight table, seven points adrift of the Champions League places.
Mourinho has conceded that closing that gap is now the priority for his team, with title talk having faded just a few months into the current campaign.
Herrera hopes that a spark can be found from somewhere, with United aware of how important positive results will be after the international break as they seek to build momentum.
“If we want to be in the top four soon, we have to win the next games.”
United had collected three successive victories in all competitions, and four in their previous six, prior to a derby date with Manchester City on Sunday.
The wheels came off at the Etihad Stadium, though, and the Red Devils must now wait two weeks before returning to domestic action.
“If we could choose now, we would play in three days for sure, but now there is time to think what we did good and what we did bad, but not too much,” added Herrera on the international break coming at a bad time.
“Football gives you an opportunity soon. It's sad that the opportunity will be in two weeks and not two days, but if we want to be in the top four soon, then Palace and Southampton are two key games.”
United have faced more criticism on the back of a 3-1 reversal against City, with the gulf in class between themselves and the very best being highlighted, but Herrera believes there are positives for them to take heading forward.
He said: “I think, until the first goal, they were better. Then, after, we had some good moments, but I think the second goal killed us.
“There are things we will take from this game and things we need to improve, but there is no time to cry. We're already thinking about Crystal Palace.”