Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer cut a folorn figure after his side drew 1-1 at Huddersfield Town.
If Manchester City do not win the FA Cup, then United will have to start the Europa League qualification process when they are on pre-season in China.
Speaking after the match, Solskjaer was disappointed to face the prospect of UEFA’s second tournament, saying: “It was always a possibility that we would be in the Europa League and if City don’t win the FA Cup we will have a very early start.
“It is not what we want but that is the reality.”
The Norwegian was critical of his side’s performance: “It hurts whenever you don’t win a game of football. In a stadium like this with loads of energy, their last game of the season at home, we gave them some hope and we couldn’t reach our level again.”
Solksjaer also lamented the conceding of the equalizer in the second half calling it: “Very avoidable, we’ve conceded too many of those this season. Everton, Wolves, today – its something we must look at and improve on and not do that next season.
“There was always going to be a period in this game Huddersfield would press us because of the energy of the crowd. We had a spell we couldn’t get going, now its done, we’re disappointed but we have to look forward.
“We haven’t deserved to be top four, we’ve chased the pack and been given chances, the league is so tight. When we got the opportunities we didn’t take them.
“The table doesn’t lie in the end.”
At times, the manager recalled criticisms from Jose Mourinho of his player’s attitudes, telling the press: “Sometimes it happens, concentration, application, confidence drops, it was just strange how we changed our approach to the game instead of playing simple. We chose difficult options.
“We are where we are for a reason. Over a long season we haven’t been good enough to challenge for the Champions League places. It’s not come as a surprise but we hoped to show a better performance today.”
Asked about whether Alexis Sanchez would play for United again, he was non-committal, explaining: “Every performance has an impact on who you want to keep and let go, that’s simple.
“We’ll see how his injury is for now.”