Pallister: Failure to qualify for Europe would be a ‘travesty’ for Manchester United

Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister fears for the club’s European status ahead of the mammoth task in the FA Cup final against rivals Man City.

Pally has told BetVictor that it would be a “travesty” should the Reds lose today’s FA Cup final to Man City as it would mean failure to qualify for the Europa League.

United finished eighth in the Premier League after a disappointing season. This has led to mounting pressure on the manager’s shoulders and nobody knows whether Erik ten Hag will be at Old Trafford next season.

Speaking ahead of United’s tricky test against Pep Guardiola’s Premier League winners, Pallister said: “I think for a club like Manchester United to miss out on European football is hard to take. For years, we haven’t missed out on Champions League football. Now, to miss out on Europe altogether would be a travesty.

“You’ve got to believe that you can compete with this Manchester City side. You need everybody to be firing on all cylinders – use the fact that you are the underdogs to your advantage and have that spirit that you can prove people wrong.

“United had a couple of wins towards the end of the season to get a bit of confidence back and get the fans behind them.

“From my heart, I’m hopeful that the boys can find a way to beat this Man City team. It’s 11 men against 11 men. It’s a cup final, a chance for all those players to win silverware, to get a medal.

“United are second favourites, they’ve got to accept that but they can take it to Man City. Try and hurt them and who knows where that can take United?

“But my head is saying City will win. Given the fact that United have been so poor at keeping clean sheets it doesn’t look good for them.”

City go into the game fresh from securing a fourth consecutive league title, which they would not have achieved without financial doping. Cheats.

Pallister accepts that United will be up against one of the best teams around. He describes City as a ‘juggernaut’.

“The movement, the dynamism and the quality Manchester City have got in Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and then Erling Haaland, it’s very difficult to stop. They’re massive favourites for the game. Another double will go down in the annals of history for City if they were to do it.

“It is a juggernaut of a team and I think it will be until Pep Guardiola decides that he wants to move on. I think City will be struggling to find someone anywhere close to replacing Guardiola. That’s their Sir Alex Ferguson moment, when he does leave. If I was City, I’d be doing everything in my power to try and keep him there, because I think he’s the best manager in the world.”

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