David Moyes believes that Manchester United’s history and size dictates they have to one of the favourites to win the Champions League -- but warned improvement was needed if they are to conquer Europe.
United qualified for the last 16 as group winners by defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 at Old Trafford.
But it was an unconvincing display and Moyes admitted the Ukrainian champions could have been ahead in the first half.
And as United are only in ninth place in the Premier League, 13 points behind leaders Arsenal, Moyes accepts United must play better if they are to trouble the top teams on the continent.
He said: “I think the club itself needs to be classed as one of the favourites but I think we all know we as a team have to improve if we are to keep progressing in the competition. Hopefully we have given ourselves the best chance by winning the group.
"For a club like Manchester United, you always have to try to win the trophy. That's the job. I think the teams in this competition are very, very good as everyone knows. But you need to try and get better as the tournament goes on.”
United had lost their previous two home matches, 1-0 each to Everton and Newcastle, and faced the prospect of being beaten in three successive matches at Old Trafford for the first time since 1962 before Phil Jones scored a 67th minute winner
And Moyes added: “I thought there wasn’t much difference to the Everton and Newcastle games. Tonight we got the goal. In those other games, Everton and Newcastle got the goal.
“We didn’t play particularly well in the opening 30 minutes. We could have been fortunate still to be [drawing] 0-0 but we missed a couple of chances just before half time ourselves and we played much better in the second half.”