Belfast Telegraph

Rose eyeing Old Trafford upset

Danny Rose insists Tottenham are confident they can achieve a third successive victory at Manchester United - with their rivals under more pressure to finish in the top four.

Spurs have won on their previous two outings to Old Trafford after a barren spell of results in previous years and go there on Sunday looking to give their own Champions League qualification chances a boost whilst simultaneously denting the chances of Louis van Gaal's side.

And Rose, who played in the 2-1 win over David Moyes' United last year, believes a hat-trick of successes can be achieved against a Red Devils' side which is now entering a crucial period of the season as - following Sunday's game - United face Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea inside a month.

"There is more pressure on them to get into the top four than us," said Rose.

"Looking at their run-in, they can't afford to drop any points. I know it has been well-documented they have not been playing that well over the last few weeks but they are still winning.

"But we tend to do better when we are playing on a big pitch and we are looking forward to it. We are confident we can go there and get something.

"Two seasons in a row we have gone there and won and there are not many teams who have done that. We will be going there hoping to make it three seasons in a row. There is no reason why we can't go there and win."

After their chances of winning the FA Cup ended with defeat to Tottenham's north London neighbours Arsenal on Monday night, Van Gaal must now guide United into the top four if his first season at the club is to be viewed as a success.

But Rose believes whilst Tottenham have the desire to return to Europe's elite club competition, they do not necessarily need to be playing Champions League football next year.

"It is important," he said.

"Every season I have been with Tottenham they have set out to try to get into the Champions League. But for me, personally, it wouldn't be a disappointing season if we did not get into the Champions League.

"We are in a transitional period at the minute and the average age of the squad every week is the youngest in the league so maybe next year, when we have all had a full season of playing together, I think it would be more disappointing - next season - if we didn't get it than this season."

Rose signed a new five-year deal at White Hart Lane in the summer and has enjoyed an impressive campaign so far, with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino hailing him as the best English left-back in the Premier League this season.

He will undoubtedly take his place in the Tottenham side that lines up against United - but it could have been so different had Pochettino not put faith in the former Leeds trainee following the acquisition of fellow left-back Ben Davies from Swansea.

"I was fully ready to look elsewhere," he conceded.

"Everyone knows that. I didn't have a good season last season and I spoke to the manager two weeks before pre-season and he said that I wasn't going anywhere.

"He wanted me to stay and fight and I did that. The club offered me a new contract which I may not have deserved considering the season I had just had. I didn't have a season like I had (on loan) at Sunderland.

"I have to say a massive thanks to the chairman and the manager for giving me that contract. I like to think that I have repaid them with how consistent I have been this season. And I have managed to notch a few goals as well."

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