Cristiano Ronaldo says it is not acceptable for Manchester United to be aiming for anything less than a top-three Premier League finish, and warned he is not at the club to compete for seventh place.
United have endured a disappointing campaign to date and replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with interim manager Ralf Rangnick in December following heavy defeats to Leicester, Liverpool and Watford.
While Rangnick has steadied the ship with four wins from seven matches and just three goals conceded, they remain seventh in the Premier League and are 22 points behind table-toppers Manchester City after just 19 games.
The lowest point of the German’s brief tenure was undoubtedly the home defeat to Wolves on January 3, after which defender Luke Shaw said he did not feel “we were all together” during the match.
Asked whether United could hope to close the gap on their top-four rivals without the correct mentality, Ronaldo said: “Impossible – I think it’s the main point.
“I don’t accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three in the Premier League.
“I think to build up good things, sometimes you have to destroy a few things. So why not – new year, new life and I hope that Manchester (United) can be the level that the fans want. They deserve that.
“We are capable of changing things now. I know the way but I’m not going to mention it here because I don’t think it’s ethical on my part to say that.
“What I can say is we can do better – all of us. Manchester (United) belongs to important things, so we have to change that.
“I don’t want to be here to be in sixth place, or seventh place, or fifth place. I’m here to try to win, to compete.
“I think we compete but we are not yet in our best level. But we have a long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things.”
While Rangnick has improved United’s results, the performances have been underwhelming, with his side scoring more than once in a match on just one occasion.