Jose Mourinho thinks it would take a “miracle” for Manchester United to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season.
The Red Devils currently sit in seventh position, eight points outside the top four and 16 behind leaders Manchester City.
Recent form has been poor as they followed up a loss in the Manchester derby against City with two draws against Southampton and Crystal Palace.
And Mourinho doubts that his side can close the eight-point gap to fourth-place Arsenal without some form of divine intervention.
“Last year I said it was fantastic to finish second considering the quality we had compared to other teams who were fighting for a top four finish,” Mourinho told RedeTV.
“This year, as we’re facing even more problems, it proves what I said when the season started: that it would be very tough for us. Now we must try and win as most points as we can, almost a miracle, to finish in the top four.”
Mourinho failed to bring in the centre-back that he needed in the summer transfer window and it has been his major gripe ever since.
“In the absence of more centre-backs that could play, we had to deploy midfielders to defend, but they don’t know how to do it, that is not their traits,” Mourinho added.
“By having them playing zonal we tried to hide our weaknesses.”