Leyland’s Phil Jones has stressed Manchester United have “no God-given right” to win Wednesday night’s Europa League final against Ajax and must approach the game in the correct manner.
United are widely regarded as the favourites to emerge from the contest at Stockholm’s Friends Arena, with the trophy and the Champions League place that comes with it.
And Red Devils defender Jones has sounded a warning against complacency ahead of the “huge” match.
The former Balshaw’s High School pupil said: “We’ve got a huge game that we need to prepare right for. We need to go out and do a job.
“We know Champions League football is the end goal, but we need to earn the right to be in the Champions League by winning on Wednesday night. We’ve no God-given right to win the Europa League.
“We deserve to be in the final, but we have to show up and prove we are good enough, and that’s what we will do.”
At the end of a season in which Jose Mourinho’s United have won the EFL Cup and come sixth in the Premier League, Wednesday’s match is being billed as make-or-break.
Asked if it was the case that victory against Ajax would mean it had been a successful season for United and defeat would mean it had not, Jones said: “In a nutshell, probably.
“It’s a defining moment in our season and we need to make sure we win the game. We want Champions League football.”
Jones is ready to play a part in the game after Sunday’s 2-0 league victory over Crystal Palace marked his fourth appearance since returning to action following a foot injury.
It appeared there might be some tension between Mourinho and Jones, but he seems to have no problem with ths boss, saying: “He’s a great manager to work for.
“This season I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it under him. Even when I was out of the team, he always gave me confidence I would get in if I was training and playing well. He was true to his word.
“He always made me feel wanted and I owe him a lot.”