Mourinho backs Man United top-four hopes

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists Manchester United can secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, despite their ongoing struggles.

A last-gasp draw at home to Fulham on Sunday - secured by Darren Bent's 94th-minute header - heaped further pressure on Old Trafford manager David Moyes, with United falling nine points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, occupying the final UEFA Champions league qualification spot.

The champions' longest winning run in the league this season remains a four-game streak put together in December, with injuries and poor form costing Moyes dearly.

Last season's top scorer Robin van Persie has missed 11 of United's 25 top-flight games this season due to hamstring, groin and toe injuries.

Though Moyes has regularly pointed to poor fortune, his tactical nous has come into question in some quarters after Sunday's game, in which United persisted with a game plan to attack Fulham from wide areas, despite a lack of success from their numerous crosses.

However, Mourinho has backed Moyes to use all his experience and turn United around, though he warned they will have to show excellent form to chase down the leading pack.

When asked if United can still finish in the top four, Mourinho said: "They can, it's not easy, they know that.

"They know that they are in the limit for the top four.

"And they also know that teams like us, Liverpool, Arsenal, are doing okay and it is not easy for them to close such a big gap, but it's possible.

"I feel sorry for them, I never enjoy when somebody is having some problems like they have but United is United and David is experienced enough to cope with the situation and the future will be better for them."

United and Moyes' credentials will be seriously tested on Wednesday when they travel to Arsenal, who will be keen to atone for Saturday's embarrassing 5-1 thrashing at Liverpool.