• Darren Fletcher admits players' concerns over future contracts
• United may miss Champions League for first time in 19 years
Darren Fletcher admits that Manchester United's reputation has been damaged by a dismal season, with players now fighting for their careers at the club as David Moyes prepares for a summer overhaul.
Having been knocked out of the Champions League quarter-finals by Bayern Munich and lying seventh in the Premier League, United are facing the likelihood of not being in Europe's top competition next season for the first time in 19 years.
Moyes's side still have a Europa League spot to play for. Yet while seventh place would qualify them if Arsenal win the FA Cup and finish fifth or sixth, Fletcher believes the personal stakes are far higher.
"It is time to show the manager that you deserve to be at this club," Fletcher said. "If you get a chance to play, you have to go and impress the manager and show him that you are capable of being here next year. Go and put in performances because the manager will be thinking of next season, no doubt about that. You have to make sure that you are one of the names that he still wants."
Fletcher is clear this should not make it difficult for the squad to be motivated until the close of the season. "Personally, not for me, and I think everyone should have that mindset. You have to go out to try to win every game and finish as high up the league as possible."
Fletcher agreed that the insipid championship defence that has left United 17 points behind Liverpool, the leaders, had hurt the reputation of the club and players. "We now have five or six league games left with nothing really to play for. That is a unique experience for us and we are disappointed and hurting but we have to go into these games and we have to win them."
Moyes is intent on rebuilding the squad. Nemanja Vidic will definitely leave to join Internazionale, the futures of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are in the balance, and other players may depart.
Fletcher said of the manager: "He will definitely look back on this season and realise it was a disappointment but I fully expect there to be some signings. People expect signings in the summer, there is no doubt about that, but that is always the case at Manchester United."
Moyes insists that being out of the Champions League will not put off elite players from joining. "We're looking to spend the right money on players who are available and it's not anything to do with the Champions League," the Scot said. "Any players we've quietly discussed it with are more than happy to join Manchester United. They know it's not a long-term thing."
Moyes has drawn criticism for the team's poor campaign but Fletcher refused to blame him. "We lose as a team," the midfielder said. "It is a situation that everybody is affected by, not just one person, player, manager or anyone. We stick together as a club and we win and lose as a club and a squad."
Patrice Evra's 57th-minute goal gave United a 2-1 aggregate lead at Bayern Munich on Wednesday that was held for only 22 seconds following the restart as Mario Mandzukic headed past David de Gea. Further strikes from Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben put the holders into the Champions League semi-finals, 4-2 on aggregate.
Yet Fletcher does not believe the difference in quality between the two sides is great. "I don't think we are as far away as some people think. I think we showed that over the two legs. The club will always look to bring in top players and improve the squad and whoever the manager brings in, they will hopefully help us bridge that gap."
Fletcher is unsure whether playing in the Europa League might hinder United's quest to re-establish themselves at the top of English football. "The goal next season will be to win the Premier League, not merely to finish in the top four," he said. "It would maybe make that challenge easier not being in the Europa League but there are two ways of looking at it. I am sure the club would rather be in it."