Manchester United legend Bryan Robson insists it is important for the Reds to at least clinch qualification for Europe next season with a top-six finish.
There has been plenty of debate regarding the merits of the Europa League with it requiring an extensive programme of fixtures but the former skipper is in no doubt regarding the importance of competing on the Continent.
Of course, winning the Champions League this season would earn United a spot in the premier tournament again next term but Robson also wants the team to make up ground in the Barclays Premier League table, in case an alternative route into Europe is required.
"In my opinion, people are completely wrong to dismiss the Europa League," said Robson, in his club ambassador's column for United Review.
"When you have been used to playing in Europe every year for such a long time, you get into that habit and always want to be competing in it, in any format. The club has been used to European football in most seasons, ever since the Sir Matt Busby days, and, certainly over the last 26 years of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, the fans have been accustomed to having European nights.
"The way the Europa League is set up, it is more or less a merger of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Cup. I fondly remember beating Barcelona in the 1991 Cup Winners’ Cup final - it was a fantastic night and the memory will never leave me.
"Maybe the Europa League is not as prestigious as the Champions League but it still has some of the best teams in Europe who have just missed out in their domestic leagues. As a former player,