Paul Scholes admits United “didn’t deserve to go through” to the Champions League knockout stages, but insists Sir Alex’s men won’t dwell on the disappointment.
The former Reds midfielder, a veteran of 16 European campaigns with United, says the focus must shift now to retaining the Barclays Premier League trophy.
“Obviously it’s disappointing [to go out of the Champions League], but I don’t think the damage was done in Basel,” he told MUTV.
“It was probably done at Old Trafford. When you go into a group-stage you always want to win your home games and we didn’t manage to do that. We conceded goals at stupid times, silly goals as well, which have really cost us.
“You just have to bounce back. It’s a big disappointment, but we probably didn’t deserve to go through considering the way we played. Now, you have to get on with it. You can’t go back now, you can’t change it, you just have to get on with the next job at hand, which is winning the league.”
The Reds’ failure to secure qualification to the Champions League knockout phase means Sir Alex’s men will now compete in the Europa League, with the Reds’ Round of 32 tie (opposition TBC) scheduled to be played in February (away on the 16th, at home on the 23rd).
It’s a competition United are unfamiliar with and Scholes admits he’s not sure how the Reds will fare.
“I really don’t know. It’s not something you plan for at the start of the season. I’m sure the manager will want to try and win it but, as I said, it’s not something you set out to do at the start of the season.”