By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

David Moyes is confident that Manchester United can clinch a top-four Premier League finish this season and compete in next season’s Champions League.

United capped a wretched week with a 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday after crashing out of the Champions League against Wolfsburg in midweek.

Louis van Gaal’s team have ended the weekend in fourth place in the Premier League table, four points behind new leaders Arsenal, who won 2-0 at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Van Gaal is under growing pressure from United supporters who are frustrated at the slow progress made under the Dutchman following the vast sums spent during the last two summers.

However, his predecessor believes the Premier League giants are well placed to finish in a Champions League place and qualify automatically for next season’s competition.

Asked about United when he appeared on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon, Moyes said: ‘They have a great chance of finishing in the Champions League spot.

Safe keeping: Van Gaal will be allowed to see out his contract if United clinch a top-four finish

Safe keeping: Van Gaal will be allowed to see out his contract if United clinch a top-four finish

“They’ll be disappointed to be out of the Champions League but they’ve got the Europa League to go for. They still have a great chance to qualify for the Champions League through the Premier League.

“They’re still in the cup. They’ve got a good chance to get something out of the season.”

Van Gaal’s side have a week’s break, and the opportunity to reduce their 10-man list of unavailable players, before they host Norwich at Old Trafford next Saturday.