Manchester United's interim manager Ralf Rangnick has said the club do not deserve to qualify for next season's European competitions after witnessing another abject performance in the 1-0 defeat to struggling Everton.
United are seventh in the Premier League table with seven matches remaining and have won just once in their past five league matches. In all under Rangnick since the German was appointed since the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have won just eight of the 17 Premier League game.
Saturday's defeat at relegation-threatened Everton leaves United six points off Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot, while fifth-placed Arsenal are three points ahead with a game in hand.
Rangnick, who is due to stay on as an advisor once a full time replacement is named – widely expected to be Ajax manager Erik ten Hag – says based on the Everton display, United are lacking in what is required to play in Europe.
"If we play like we did here we just don't deserve it," said Rangnick. "The players themselves should be eager to play international football, if possible Champions League.
"In order to qualify for Europe you have to be able to score in 95 minutes in a game like this."
Rangnick was embarrassed by his side's inability to score against an Everton side that had lost 3-2 to fellow strugglers Burnley in midweek.
"With all respect to Everton – because they have a good team – but if you don't score against a team who conceded three goals against Burnley, you cannot expect to get anything out of it," said the 63-year-old German.
Rangnick dismissed the idea that speculation over who will be the next manager had distracted the players.
Ten Hag is strongly rumoured to be next man tasked with reviving United as a title contender after years of disappointment. He will be United's fifth permanent manager since the departure of Alex Ferguson as a Premier League champion in 2013 – and this will be the fifth successive season they have finished without a trophy.
"I don't think this should be an excuse," said Rangnick. "We are Manchester United. We have lots of international players. There shouldn't be an alibi.
Everton v Manchester United player ratings
"There will be a new manager next season. If this is announced now or in 10 days it shouldn't have an impact."
United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea echoed Rangnick's remarks, saying with just one win in their last five league games finishing in the top four seems an impossible task.
"We're not good enough, for sure. It's going to be very difficult now to be in the top four," said De Gea. "We don't score, we don't even create proper chances to score. They had more desire than us, which is not acceptable."