Jose Mourinho has admitted that Manchester United’s targets for the season have changed after recent poor results left them eight points off the top four in the Premier League.
The Red Devils have followed up their loss against Manchester City in the derby with two draws against Crystal Palace and Southampton.
Not only have they been cut adrift from the top four but they are already 16 points behind Premier League leaders and neighbours City.
“Before the Crystal Palace game I told my hopes and targets were, by the end of December, to be in that position,” Mourinho told journalists ahead of their match against Arsenal on Wednesday.
“The target changed, but in the sense of let’s try to close the distance as best we can and be very close to these positions.
“So I think it’s far from a miracle, we just need to not be so unlucky with problems that we have, we need some players to perform better than they are and we need to perform better as a team, but far from a miracle.”
When asked if it was acceptable for United to be in seventh, Mourinho added: “I think Manchester United, in seventh place, I can agree, in spite of the investment Everton made, which was phenomenal.
“Obviously there was a great improvement in that team from last season in relation to this season, but I don’t think Everton will be in front of us at the end of the season.
“There are six teams that should stay in the first six positions. Season after season, two of these teams are staying outside the top four.
“Last season was Arsenal and Chelsea, and this season two of these six are going to stay outside. Who is the best team of the six? The team with more potential? The team with less potential? Who is the team performing not so well?
“These will be the questions and answers around the top six. At the end of the season, the top six will be done by the six teams we all know have that responsibility to finish in the top six.”