Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has claimed that only should his team beat Sevilla can they truly be considered to be Champions League contenders.
The two clubs clash on Wednesday for the first leg being played in Spain where the Portuguese manager will certainly be hoping his players can grab a few away goals.
The draw against the La Liga club was seen as favourable for United who aren’t necessarily expected to challenge for Europe’s top trophy.
Getting into the quarter finals sounds just about right in the Red Devils’ first season back in the Champions League since Louis Van Gaal‘s time.
Mourinho is also not seriously considering his players to challenge but believes once teams get into the last eight, anything can happen.
According to the Mirror, Jose said: “In the last 16 I don’t speak about contenders. Only those couple of teams who season after season are always there, always in the finals.
“I think at this moment we are just one of the 16. The next round of the Champions League is the one that I consider really fundamental.
“It is the one that makes you go from 16 to eight and when you are in the last eight then yes, you become a contender even if you are not the favourites.
“That’s always the way I felt in my previous Champions league. When you’re in the 16, 16 is too much. But after two matches and you become eight then you have the draws and you sometimes have combinations that may open some door a little bit more.
“But now I think it’s too early to say any more.”
It’s difficult to imagine whether Manchester United would be able to score results against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern should they advance further into the competition.
Most fans would agree that the club aren’t yet ready to challenge and are still in the process of having a complete team.
If this season has proven anything, it’s proven that United are still in transition and have plenty of deadwood to deal with before becoming serial winners once more.
The good news is that in Jose Mourinho they have a manager who has plenty of Champions League experience and can guide them to victory when the time is right.
The question is whether the Red Devils will give their boss the chance to get everything right or will he lose his job prematurely.