Luke Shaw says Manchester United are still aiming to finish in the Champions League places and win the FA Cup this season, although admits that targets have been lowered after a disappointing first half of the campaign.
The Red Devils go into the weekend seventh in the Premier League table ahead of a clash with Aston Villa on Sunday at Villa Park.
Their hopes of European glory are already over, as are their chances of retaining the Carabao Cup, while the Premier League title is out of reach.
However, despite struggles for consistency so far this season, Shaw says Erik ten Hag’s side can still finish strongly by lifting the FA Cup and managing a top four finish in the Premier League.
‘I think for me now we have a really good group here, good manager and we all need to focus on what our ambitions are and what we want to achieve,’ Shaw told Sky Sports.
On the club’s ambitions this season, he said: ‘Win the FA Cup and qualify for the Champions League.
‘Obviously at the start of the season they wouldn’t be our ambitions. At the start of the season we wanted to win the Premier League, the Champions League, we want to win everything.
‘But at this point right now we have to be a bit more realistic on the position we are. For us now…a club like this has to be in the Champions League. We’re in the FA Cup competition at the minute. I think these two should be our aims.
‘These are things that need to motivate you. Of course we were close last season, we won the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup we lost in the final, so even more motivation to go the whole way this season.’
There have been encouraging signs for Ten Hag’s signs of late, notably thanks to youngsters Rasmus Hojlund, Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho.
The Dutchman has been very pleased with the young stars, but also says they need to step up a level if the club are to win trophies.
‘I think they enjoy to play together, adventure, they want to do it together,’ Ten Hag said in his press conference on Thursday.
‘They want also to pass the ball to each other and that everyone can play to the qualities and score goals. It is brilliant they want to do it together and that is the key.
‘Young players… the future for Manchester United is quite bright with talent on board, you have to develop it.
‘This club wants to achieve a lot, this club wants to win trophies, very ambitious, so they have to step up and bring high levels. Also against the best opposition they have to express the same threat and it is about end product.’
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