Manchester United “deserve” to secure Champions League qualification, claims Nemanja Matic, with the Red Devils aware that top-four fate remains in their own hands after dropping points against Southampton.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were on course to hit third spot in the Premier League table as they entered stoppage-time in a home date with the Saints on Monday.
There was, however, to be a late sting in the tail, with Michael Obafemi bundling home the most dramatic of equalisers in a 2-2 draw.
Taking a share of the spoils instead of another morale-boosting wins means that United remain in fifth, level with Leicester and one point behind Chelsea.
They have just three more games in which to haul themselves up the standings, with the last of those set to see them travel to the King Power Stadium for a crunch clash with the Foxes.
Matic believes the Red Devils can get over the line, given their form since the turn of the year, and is looking to remain upbeat after seeing an unbeaten run extended to 18 games in all competitions.
The Serbian midfielder told MUTV on the back of a frustrating finish to a meeting with Southampton: “We have to keep our head up, we have three games to go. The next one is Crystal Palace on Thursday, if we win the last three games we are in the Champions League.
“So we have to stay positive and keep working as we were until now. Everything is in our hands. It's in our hands, we have to recover as soon as possible.
“We have another game now, against a very good team again, so we have to go with everything because we want to play Champions League next season.
“I think we deserve that, so I want to say we work positively, recover well and we will see on Thursday if we are ready. I am sure the team is ready.
“Of course, three months ago it was not in our hands. We needed Chelsea and Leicester to drop points, which they did obviously. Now we are a point behind Chelsea and it's in our hands.
“We’ll take it game by game. We’ll think about Palace first, then if we do our job there, like we normally do.”
Alongside their Premier League efforts, United also have an FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea to take in on Sunday.
“The next two weeks are very important for us,” added Matic.
“We will give everything, we promise that we will give everything for this club to play Champions League, of course the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, we will give our best to make our supporters proud.”