(Reuters) - Manchester United cannot step off the gas following last weekend’s derby win over Premier League leaders Manchester City and must ensure they get the points required to secure second place, manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday.
United rode on a sublime second-half performance by French midfielder Paul Pogba to seal a memorable 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium but Mourinho said subsequent training sessions were spent in getting his players to move on from that win.
“During the week I was trying to fight that result by working hard, trying to make the players understand that it is not enough to deserve to finish second,” the Portuguese told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s league game against West Bromwich Albion.
“We need the points to finish second... obviously to finish fourth, we need four or five points, but to finish second we need much more than that,” Mourinho added.
Basement side West Brom have 21 points from 33 games and have lost eight of their last 10 matches but Mourinho said United had to remain cautious with their opponents desperate to secure points in a bid to ensure top-flight survival.
“They still smell a chance... it’s a big challenge because in football they know anything is possible until mathematically it is impossible,” he said.
United have 71 points from 32 matches, four ahead of third-placed Liverpool who have played one more game.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge