Man Utd news: Jose Mourinho makes stunning u-turn ahed of Arsenal clash | Football | Sport


Before a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on November 24, Mourinho said he was targeting the top four and qualification from their Champions League group by the end of the year.

They sealed their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win against Young Boys last Tuesday.

However, a 2-2 draw with Southampton left them languishing in seventh in the Premier League table and a whopping eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

And Mourinho admitted he might have to revisit those targets as they prepare to host the Gunners on Wednesday night.

“Before the Crystal Palace game I told my hopes and targets were, by the end of December, to be in that position,” the said.

“The target changed, but in the sense of let’s try to close the distance as best we can and be very close to these positions.

“So I think it’s far from a miracle, we just need to not be so unlucky with problems that we have, we need some players to perform better than they are and we need to perform better as a team, but far from a miracle.”

Mourinho was pressed on to rate his side’s chances of getting into the top four and insists it is still a realistic target despite their recent struggles.

Asked if he had to perform a miracle, he replied: “What? Nah.

“I don’t know if I say or if I didn’t but if I used that word is not what I feel at all.

“We have like eight or nine points from fourth something like that, I don’t think we need a miracle at all.

“We need a good run of results, not waste points we shouldn’t waste.”

United have their work cut out against in-form Arsenal, who are now 19 games unbeaten in all competitions and go into the game buoyed by their 4-2 victory over Tottenham in the north London derby.

Mourinho is facing something of a defensive crisis, with as many as EIGHT defenders at risk of missing out through injury or suspension.

Ashley Young is banned, while Victor Lindelof has been ruled out until the new year.

Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo are back in contention but there are concerns over their lack of match fitness.

Phil Jones had a scan on Monday after suffering a knock against Southampton and faces a race against the to be fit for Wednesday.

Luke Shaw limped out against former club Saints, while Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian also missed the game.

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