Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out extensively about the reign of interim Manchester United head coach Ralf Rangnick for the first time.
Rangnick was appointed as the interim replacement for outgoing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of November, but results and performances remain inconsistent.
The German has won three of his five Premier League games in charge, drawing and losing one each, while being held at home to Young Boys in a Champions League dead-rubber and securing a place in the FA Cup fourth round.
That obviously represents a crisis for some when it comes to a team that is six points off Champions League qualification with two games in hand.
Ronaldo, who has played five times under Rangnick and scored two goals, has thrown his considerable weight behind the temporary regime.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the Portuguese said it would be “impossible” for Manchester United to close that gap to fourth without the correct mentality – but even that would not be enough for Ronaldo.
“I don’t accept less than the top three.”
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 12, 2022
“Manchester United should win the league or be second or third. I don’t see any other position for Manchester United,” he said.
“In my heart, I don’t accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three in the Premier League, in my opinion.
“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.
“Since he arrived five weeks ago he changed many things. But he needs time to put his ideas across to the players.
“It takes time but I believe that he is going to do a good job. We know we aren’t playing the best football but we have many games to improve.
“Since he arrived I think in some points we are better, but he needs time. It’s not that easy to change the mentality of players and the way they play, the culture, the system like that. I believe that he is going to do a good job.”
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