Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that Manchester United are currently in an ‘unacceptable’ position but believes interim manager Ralf Rangnick will turn the Red Devils’ fortunes around this season
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- 08:47, 13 Jan 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo has told his Manchester United teammates that fighting for anywhere below the top three places in the Premier League is unacceptable.
The 36-year-old has laid out his terms after the Red Devils' slow start to life under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Brought in by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before his sacking, Ronaldo's homecoming has not gone as planned, with United sitting 12 points adrift of third-placed Liverpool.
"Manchester United should win the league or be second or third," the five-time Ballon d'Or winner told Sky Sports after stating that it would be "impossible" to close the gap on the top four without a shift in mentality.
"I don't see other positions for Manchester United to be honest, I don't see. In my eyes, I don't accept that our mentality be less than to be in the top three.
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Ronaldo's return to Man Utd has not gone as planned
"We are capable to change things now. I don't know the specific way I'm a player, not the coach, the president, I know the way but I'm not going to mention it here because I think it's not ethic [sic] from my part to say that.
"What I can say and something I can say we are in control, we can do it better, all of us. Manchester belongs in important things, we have to change that.
"I don't want to be here in a club to fight to be in sixth or seventh or fifth place, I'm here to try to win, to compete. I think we compete but we are not yet at our best level.
"[There is a] long way to improve and I believe if we change our mind, we can achieve big things."
Despite scoring 14 goals in 21 games, Ronaldo has been the subject of a fierce debate since Rangnick's appointment.
The former Real Madrid and Juventus star has received criticism for being unsuited to his new boss' style of play but Ronaldo still believes that Rangnick will be a success.
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"He arrived here five weeks ago and changed many things but he needs time to put his ideas to the players and on the pitch as well," the forward continued.
"It takes time but I believe that he is going to do a good job, we know that we have not been playing the best football as we should do but we have many games to improve.
"But since he arrived I think in some points we are better but as I said before we need time, it's not easy to change the mentality of players and the way they play the system and the culture like that so I believe that he is going to do a good job."
"We have to be together, we are in the same boat, we knew since the beginning it won't be easy so new year we have to believe that it is possible but as I mentioned before we have a long way to change, but I believe that we are going to have a good season.
Ronaldo is backing Rangnick to succeed
"It's difficult, to be honest, when you change the manager it's always tough but I still believe that we are capable of having a good season, we knew it would take time to make the ideas of the new coach on the pitch.
"It's not that fast, but I'm looking forward. We have to be professional and work hard as players and change the page. We know we're not in the best moment but I believe that by working hard we can achieve big things this year."
Having been signed by Solskjaer, Ronaldo lost another of his former Red Devils teammates shortly after the Norwegian departed Old Trafford, ex-assistant Michael Carrick.
With the players now taking plenty of flack after the changing of the guard, United's No.7 has admitted it has been a "sad and tough" period.
"Not easy to be honest," Ronaldo admitted on the past few months. "We changed Ole, then Carrick [caretaker manager], then this new coach. It's difficult when you change so much, it's always tough.
Solskjaer and Ronaldo were teammates before their brief time as manager and player
Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
"It's always sad and tough. Ole used to play with me before and now he was the coach. A fantastic person. When he left everybody was sad, but it's part of football.
"When things don't go the way the club wants, the club has to change. I was disappointed but we have to understand the club. It was difficult but life continues.
"But I still believe that we are capable of doing a good season. We know it's going to take time to make the ideas of the new coach on the pitch.
"But I'm looking forward. We have to work hard, we have to be together as players. We know we are not in the best moment, but I believe with working hard we can achieve important things, even this year."
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