Alejandro Garnacho urges Man Utd to maintain momentum after moving into top six

Alejandro Garnacho says Manchester United must maintain momentum as they look to claw themselves into the Champions League qualification spots.

A promising first season under Erik ten Hag has been followed by a challenging second campaign filled with more downs than ups, thanks in no small part to a swathe of injuries.

The drop-off means United have no European football after Christmas but there has been a recent upturn in fortunes and they usurped West Ham in sixth after Garnacho’s brace in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils remain six points behind Tottenham in fifth – a position that may be enough for Champions League qualification – and a further two behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, where Ten Hag’s team head on Sunday.

“I am always trying to help the team by either scoring or assisting,” Garnacho said after his second-half double at the weekend.

“I don’t care if Rasmus (Hojlund) or (Marcus) Rashford scores, I think we have to win and we have to be in the top six again.

“Hopefully, you know, (I could get) 10, 12 goals (by the end of the season).

“Now we go over West Ham into the top six but of course we want to be in the Champions League the next year, so we have to keep this momentum and try to win the next game.”

United have won four of their five matches in all competitions since the turn of the year, drawing the other, with Hojlund scoring in each of his last four matches.

The summer signing celebrated his 21st birthday by opening the scoring on Sunday, continuing a fine run started when breaking his Premier League duck in the 3-2 Boxing Day turnaround against Villa.

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