Football

Fergie urges United to win the Europa League

Manchester United should focus on winning the Europa League this season, which would bring the club a trophy they have never won and secure qualification for next season's Champions League, former manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.

United are fifth in the Premier League and sit four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, although they have two games in hand on the Merseyside club.

A top-four finish would ensure Champions League qualification, but Ferguson, who was in charge at Old Trafford for some 27 years, believes United have a great chance to qualify by winning Europe's second-tier club competition.

"We've never won the Europa League," he told ESPN.

"We've never won the Uefa Cup, what it used to be, and we've got a great draw. I'm not saying it's a certainty, but we've got a great chance.

"It's still a European trophy and if we win it, we get into the Champions League. The incentive is greater to do that."

English clubs have failed to win a European title since Chelsea's Champions League triumph in 2012.

United visit Belgian outfit Anderlecht in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on April 13 before hosting the return a week later.

The other six teams left in the competition are Celta Vigo (Spain), Genk (Belgium), Ajax Amsterdam (Holland), Schalke (Germany), Lyon (France) and Besiktas (Turkey). - REUTERS

EUROPA LEAGUEManchester United