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Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho: We're fighting hard to be in the top four

Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United are “fighting hard” to join Sunday's opponents Manchester City in the Premier League's top four as soon as possible.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, the boss stated that his focus is on closing the gap between the Reds and our local rivals, who currently sit top of the table. A win in Sunday's derby at the Etihad Stadium would move United to within six points of our neighbours. 

“We are outside the top four so, when you are outside the top four, it doesn't make sense to speak about the title,” said Mourinho.

'We are not a team that gives up'Video

“By the end of December, which is basically half of the season, if we are inside the top four, and if we are in contact with the first or second [placed teams] we have to say yes [we are in contention for the title].

But at the moment we are outside the top four, trying very hard and fighting very hard to get the points that give us the chance to go into the top four, so I'm not going to speak about the title.“ 

When asked whether finishing in the top four would be an achievement for the Reds this season, Mourinho said: ”Of course“. 

The Reds beat Bournemouth last weekend to move level on points with the sixth-placed Cherries and will be hoping for a repeat of last season's epic victory at City, when Paul Pogba's double and a Chris Smalling goal engineered a stunning turnaround to give United a 3-2 win. 

The boss confirmed on Friday that there were no fresh injury concerns arising from Wednesday's stunning 2-1 victory at Juventus, but Romelu Lukaku could have “a chance” of returning in the derby after missing the last two games through injury. 

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