Champions League qualification caps a "positive" season for Manchester United but the club has an "obligation" to compete in the competition says captain Bruno Fernandes.
Speaking after Thursday's 4-1 win over Chelsea secured United a top four spot, Fernandes said: "It's not a relief. I think everyone was aware that it was really important for us to get the top four. I think at the same time everyone was really convinced that we will do it.
"We should have done it a little bit earlier in the season but obviously we had those two away games that we didn't get any points and it complicated our counts, but we get it today and that's the most important.
"It's kind of an obligation for this club to be in these positions."
After two defeats in their opening two games - including a 4-0 humiliation away at Brentford - United looked set for a troubled season but manager Erik ten Hag turned things around quickly - winning the Carabao Cup, external and now returning the Red Devils to European football's top table after a season away.
Ten Hag's side still have an FA Cup final against Manchester City to look forward to, but Fernandes does not believe success in the Dutchman's first campaign hinges on ending their neighbour's treble hopes.
"It's a positive season, not successful because successful is different for this club and for us players it has to be too," he added.
"We did win a trophy. We get into the top four. Now we have another final but whatever happened in that final will not change anything about the season we have done. One game can't define a season that has been long with so many games.
"I think I've said this many times that the Liverpool game was the game that changed everything.
"Because of the result, obviously, but already before that, after the game against Brentford away, everyone understood that we had to do better because we had the qualities to do much better.
"The belief has been always there because we believe since the beginning in the ideas of the manager, in the players that we have, since the beginning of the season until the end."