Manchester United need to try and win their final three Premier League games to ‘keep that edge’ for the Europa League final, according to Michael Carrick.
The Reds have play Tottenham, Southampton and Crystal Palace within a week before facing Ajax in Stockholm on May 24.
Jose Mourinho has indicated that he will rotate his side for the league fixtures to keep them fresh for the showpiece event at the Friends Arena.
But Carrick has warned his team-mates that they can’t afford to take the foot off the gas in the league – with places still up for grabs.
“We’ve got to keep pushing even if [top four] is mathematically impossible,” he told Sky Sports .
“We need to keep that edge for the cup final – you can’t cruise through the next three games and then expect to be ready for the final.
“Whoever plays in the games, you’ve got to play with everything you’ve got and play to that level.”
United can move within two points of fourth-placed Liverpool with a win against Tottenham in White Hart Lane’s last ever game on Sunday.
It promises to be an emotional occasion for the home side and Carrick, who spent two seasons with Spurs, has fond memories of N17.
“It’s a ground I’ve really enjoyed playing at both for and against Tottenham,” he added.
“They’ve always had teams where it’s been entertaining football to watch – I’ve been involved in some great games over the years.
“My first London derby against Arsenal – we lost 5-4 in the end – that was my second game but things like that always stick in the memory.”