Fortune smiles on United's top four dreams
Former Manchester United defender Quinton Fortune is confident the Red Devils will return to Europe's top club competition next season
While Chelsea seem to be running away with the Premier League title this season, at least five teams are vying for the remaining three Champions League spots next season.
Although Manchester United are currently sixth in the league table with 48 points and out of the Champions League spots, former United player Quinton Fortune is confident that the Red Devils will qualify for Europe’s top club competition next season, after winning the League Cup last Sunday.
“We will qualify for the Champions League, no doubt; the way they have been playing, the confidence is there,” said the 39-year-old South African, at the sidelines of Kansai Paint’s sponsorship of amateur football side Oners FC at the Marina Bay Financial Centre on Tuesday (Feb 28).
“Even though we didn’t play well in the (League) Cup the other day, we still had the mentality of winning games and found a way to win the game.
“We have the right manager and the right players. I have all the belief that the team can qualify for the Champions League next season.”
The gap between second-placed Tottenham Hotspur, with 53 points, and Everton, in seventh place with 44 points, is small, with up to 13 games to go, and former United defender Ronny Johnsen, who was also at the event, believes that United’s League Cup triumph will give them fresh impetus to charge up the table.
The 47-year-old said: “It’s not going to be easy going into this part of the season; it is so competitive and there are so many good teams out there.
“But it looks bright for United right now because winning a trophy does a lot for their confidence, and they are growing in every game they play.”
But Fortune cautioned against talk about manager Jose Mourinho creating another successful era, one that United enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The retired defender said: “Sir Alex kept creating new teams every few years, so we have to be patient because he (Mourinho) has been at the club for only six months. He has brought in new players, and they’ve had to adapt to the club.
“To compare him with Sir Alex is difficult because Sir Alex had 27 years at the club; Mourinho will create his own legacy, and it will be the Jose Mourinho legacy.”
Johnsen added: “Sir Alex was there for so many years and won so many trophies, I think it’s very hard to see that in modern football.
“If United can be so lucky to have a manager for such a long period again, it would be a new dream come true, because it would mean that United are winning a lot of trophies.”