Cristiano Ronaldo clarifies Man Utd position and opens up about “culture” under Ralf Rangnick

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Cristiano Ronaldo believes Manchester United should have a winning mentality to succeed this season under Ralf Rangnick, their interim manager.

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Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa: Rangnick reaction

Cristiano Ronaldo has backed Ralf Rangnick to turn around Manchester United’s fortunes in the second half of the season.

United have yet to click under Rangnick. He took over interim management after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s resignation in November.

Although the German has won, drawn, and lost four of his seven matches thus far, there has been very little improvement in his attempts at changing the style of play.

Ronaldo re-joined the club from Juventus in the summer to play under Solskjaer, and Rangnick’s arrival was widely viewed as being a challenge to the 36-year-old forward.

The Portuguese star is optimistic that Rangnick will take longer to implement his ideas fully and that United can move forward in the months ahead once this happens.

“I still believe we are capable of having a good season,” Ronaldo told Sky Sports .

“We know it’s going to take time to make the ideas of the new coach on the pitch. It’s not that fast, but looking forward we have to be professional, work hard, to be together as players.”

He added: “It is not easy to change players’ mentality and the system. [Rangnick]Is going to do an excellent job.”

United are currently seventh in Premier League. West Ham is fourth in fourth.

Rangnick’s side were beaten 1-0 by Wolves in their last league game 10 days ago, but will look to make it back-to-back wins over Aston Villa when they face Steven Gerrard’s side on Saturday.

Ronaldo says it is about changing the mentality and mindset of the players to bridge the gap with Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea.

HEAR YOUR VIEWS Can Manchester United finish in top four this season Comment below.

Ronaldo answered the question: “Can they close the gap on their competitors without the right mentality?” “Impossible – I think it’s the main point.

“I refuse to accept that our mentality should be lower than being among the top three Premier League players.

“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.

“But I can tell you that we can do better, all of us. Manchester (United), is an important thing, and we must change it.

“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.

“Although I believe we compete, we aren’t at our best yet. We still have a lot to do and I believe we can make big changes if we just change our minds.