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Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick admitted he is not “100% convinced” his side can finish in the Champions League places this season.
The German boss suffered his first Premier League defeat, after the Red Devils’ were meekly beaten 1-0 at home by goal-shy Wolves.
Bruno Lage’s side dominated the Red Devils from start to finish and eventually secured the victory with a wonderful strike from Joao Moutinho.
The costly defeat at Old Trafford means they are now languishing in seventh position, four points away from fourth placed Arsenal.
While it is far too early condemn United’s top four aspirations, Rangnick did not want to talk up his side’s chances too much.
"I cannot make any guarantees,” Rangnick said after the defeat.
“Look at today's performance if I say we are 100% convinced we will finish in the top four I don't know if people will believe that.
“For me it is about taking the next steps and getting better.
"I knew this could be and would hard but today's game showed we still have a long way to go."
HAVE YOUR SAY! Can Manchester United finish in the top four? Comment below
It feels like a very long time ago when a confident Roy Keane believed the Reds would finish in the top four.
After Liverpool and Manchester City’s pulsating 2-2 draw at Anfield in October, Keane said Manchester United and Chelsea would also finish in the Champions League spots this season.
While he admitted catching Manchester City and winning the Premier League was too far of a stretch, he at least believed United would finish in the top four.
"You look up there, it's the top-four out there," Keane said in October.
"If you analyse Liverpool over the last week you'll think they conceded three at Brentford [and] two today, that's not a great sign.
"But they've got brilliant players going forward, world class players going forward.
"But I still think any of these teams and Chelsea included will do well to finish ahead of Man City."
Manchester United take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup, before facing Steven Gerrard's side again in the Premier League five days later.
- Manchester United FC
- Ralf Rangnick
- Premier League
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