A man who helped the Red Devils to Treble glory in 1999 wants to see the club thrive once more and believes the current campaign can be a success
Manchester United remain very much in contention for a top-four finish this season, says Andy Cole, with the club striving to “get bums off seats” again and recapture the glory days of their recent past.
The Red Devils were the dominant force in English football during an era of unprecedented success overseen by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.
Since the Scot headed into retirement back in 2013, on the back of a 13th Premier League title triumph, a humbling fall from grace has been endured at Old Trafford.
A long-term rebuilding project remains a work in progress, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer currently calling the shots.
He has United sat ninth in the table at present, but there is only a six-point gap separating them from the Champions League qualification spots.
“Realistically, it looks like you can take away a few spots – Liverpool are going to run away with it, Leicester, Manchester City, there is still a fourth spot up for grabs,” Cole, speaking from Marriott Hotels Seat of Dreams at Old Trafford, told Goal.
“A lot of teams are going to work as hard as they can for that place. Manchester United have to try and compete going forward through to the end of the season and try to finish in that fourth spot.”
The Red Devils’ next outing could be crucial in their efforts to secure a return to European football’s elite club competition, with a trip to fourth-placed Chelsea set to be taken in on Monday.
Cole said of that contest: “Every game is crucial now until the end of the season for Manchester United.
“We played Chelsea and beat them at home [4-0], the result was quite comfortable even if the game wasn’t.
“On Monday playing them, it’s a game where either team can win and both will be looking to take the points to try and take that fourth spot.”
Pressed on whether United’s counter-attacking system could set up well against a Chelsea side that likes to dominate possession, Cole added: “It could well do. In football, anything can happen.
“I’m just looking for Manchester United to get back to how Manchester United used to be – galvanising football, getting bums off seats and getting people to enjoy coming to watch Manchester United.”
Securing silverware would aid that cause, with Solskjaer’s side still in the running for two trophies.
Asked if tangible success is vital to United, Cole said: “Of course.
“It’s a good draw in the FA Cup and away to Brugge next week. Two cup competitions and they are still in a good position but, as you know in cup competitions, anything can happen.”
United are due to face Derby in the fifth round of the FA Cup, offering them a reunion with club record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, while Club Brugge are the Red Devils’ opponents at the last-32 stage of the Europa League.
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