Keep the faith: Bobby Charlton ‘guarantees’ Manchester United will finish above City next season

Footballing legend Sir Bobby Charlton has assured Manchester United fans that the club will finish above rivals Manchester City next season ahead of their final 2013-14 clash with Southampton.

The Reds have offered a pitiful defence of their 20th league title and are currently set to finish in seventh place after losing eight of twelve matches against the teams above them.

However, Old Trafford hero and club director Charlton insists that United’s winning mentality will push them to reassert themselves as the best team in Manchester.

“Next year I guarantee that we will be number one in Manchester,” said the 76-year-old.

“We like to be first and we will be first.

“I am looking forward a lot to next year because Manchester United is not renowned for being second.”

United travel to Southampton on Sunday in good stead, having won eight out of their past fourteen meetings in all competitions.

Their form has improved under interim manager Ryan Giggs, though with the appointment of Louis van Gaal as David Moyes’ permanent replacement looming, the St Mary’s clash will likely be the Welshman’s final game in charge.

Speaking a year to the day since Moyes’ ill-fated appointment, Giggs reminisced on how much he has enjoyed his short-lived spell at the Old Trafford helm despite the uncertainty surrounding his future.

“It sort of goes in waves where one minute you are enjoying it and one minute you are not,” he said.

“But ultimately it gives you a lot of satisfaction when everything goes right.

“I have enjoyed the whole experience and it has definitely helped me prepare for what will come after my playing career.”

United’s objectives have changed dramatically this season with the Red Devils now playing for a Europa League spot – though require a slip-up from Tottenham Hotspur to have any chance of that.

Spurs are three points ahead of United in sixth place and will face Aston Villa at White Hart Lane, a match that they are unlikely to lose.

“There is not really a lot of pressure on me at the moment because it is just four games and we can’t really win anything,” said Giggs.

“However, we can qualify for the Europa League and we will carry on trying to do that.”

While Robin van Persie returned from injury to score mid-week, United will have to contend with the absence of Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones.

Jones was initially thought to have been ruled out of this summer’s World Cup after landing awkwardly on his shoulder against Hull City on Tuesday, while Rooney is still recovering from a groin injury.

“Phil’s injury isn’t as bad as I thought on the night,” said Giggs.

“He is obviously out for Sunday but should be okay for the World Cup.

“Wayne has just started training over the last couple of days, and Sunday is probably a little bit too quick for him, but he is training and will also be fine for the World Cup.”

Image courtesy of DFID, with thanks

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