Cristiano Ronaldo: 'I Don't Want To Be Here To Fight To Be In Sixth Place'
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Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo is hopeful he can recover from a minor muscle injury in time to feature in Saturday's Premier League match against Aston Villa.
The Portugal international missed United's 1-0 FA Cup third round win over Villa on Monday but is keeping his "fingers crossed" that he can return to action at the weekend.
"I'm good," Ronaldo said. "You know, we have to feel some pain sometimes. It's nothing big and I hope to be good soon."
Asked if he would be fit to face Villa, the 36-year-old said he hoped so.
"We will try on Thursday," Ronaldo added. "I will try to train as normal. Let's see how the body reacts."
The forward had earlier backed interim boss Ralf Rangnick to do a good job at United but said the German needed time to bed in his ideas. Rangnick was appointed until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, but the interim boss has faced questions from the media about players being unhappy with his methods.
"Since (Rangnick) arrived... he changed many things," Ronaldo told Sky Sports. "But he needs time to put his ideas across to the players. I believe he's going to do a good job. We know we aren't playing the best but we have many games to improve. Since he arrived I think in some points we're better... It isn't that easy to change the mentality of players and the way they play, the culture, the system like that."
United suffered their first defeat under Rangnick in last week's 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton and sit seventh in the league with 31 points at the halfway stage of the season.
"I don't accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three in the Premier League," Ronaldo said. "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 United can be at the level fans want. They deserve that.
"We're 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 belongs to important things, so we have to change that. I don't want to be here to be in the club to fight 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."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru and Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Toby Davis)