Valencia urges United to stay in hunt for league title

WEB_PHOTO_VALENCIA_MU_080218

File: Manchester United's Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia (R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford in Manchester.

File: Manchester United's Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia (R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford in Manchester.

WEB_PHOTO_VALENCIA_MU_080218

File: Manchester United's Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia (R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford in Manchester.

File: Manchester United's Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia (R) celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford in Manchester.

JOHANNESBURG - Manchester United have to continue fighting for the Premier League title regardless of the 13-point gap to leaders Manchester City, defender Antonio Valencia said.

United are second on 56 points with 12 games remaining but Valencia said the club cannot lose hope yet, pointing to how their cross-town rivals overcame an eight-point deficit in the final six games to pip them to the title in the 2011-12 season.

File: Manchester United&39;s players including Ecuadorian midfielder Antonio Valencia (C) celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Europa League final. Credit: AFP

"We lost a title when we were eight points ahead and there were only a few games left. Now, we have a lot more games to play and we need to keep fighting," Valencia told the club&39;s website (www.manutd.com). "We need to keep going.

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"The important thing is to get the three points, playing at home, playing well, and we will carry on with this mentality until the end of the season."

United bounced back from a 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last Wednesday to beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 on Saturday.

"We have showed that we have the quality and conditions to fight until the end of the season," Valencia added.

United travel to 16th-placed Newcastle United on Sunday.