Manchester United have struggled for form and results this season. Cristiano Ronaldo, speaking with Sky Sports, has said he can’t lower our expectations to finishing below third in the league this season but recognises things need to change quickly as that is what the fans deserve.

I don’t accept that our mentality be less than being in the top three in the Premier League. 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 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. 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 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.

There haven’t been many signs of improvement since Ralf Rangnick took charge but Ronaldo insists that things are changing behind the scenes.

Since he arrived five weeks ago he changed many things. But he needs time to put his ideas across to the players. It takes time but I believe that he is going to do a good job. We know we aren’t playing the best football but we have many games to improve. Since he arrived I think in some points we are better, but he needs time. It’s not that easy to change the mentality of players and the way they play, the culture, the system like that. I believe that he is going to do a good job.

Ronaldo first came to United as a teenager with the strong voices of Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand in the dressing room. He was given advice and took it on board, but reckons young players these days don’t have the same mindset.

The mature players, the older players, they can always help the young players. But I can give an example. If I give you advice, even if you are younger than me, if you don’t implant that during your daily life, it will be difficult. I can speak all day with that person, but if it’s not coming from inside of you, it’s impossible.

I remember, when I was 18, 19, 20, some older players spoke with me. But I put that as ‘Cristiano, you have to improve – they know more than you, they are more experienced than you, they passed through many bad moments’. But other people, they don’t accept that, if you criticise them.

I don’t say this in relation to our players, but in general. I have kids, I know. Sometimes when you’re a little bit harder, they do the opposite, so you have to find the right balance to speak with them. But, in my opinion, the main point is that it should come from inside of you. You should be proud of yourself and look in the mirror and say ‘Listen, I give everything’. I think all of us should do that, because it’s a new year, we change the page, we have many things to win and we have to believe in that. If not, it will be a nightmare.

The individual is the most important thing. We are here to help and if they need my help, and my support and my advice, I will be the No1 to help. But if you don’t want my help, do your job, look for yourself, and do your best to help the team.

Ronaldo has admitted it’s been difficult because of all the changes in the coaching staff, naming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick, but Kieran McKenna has also moved on, but has belief that we can turn things around.

We changed Ole, then Carrick, then this new coach. It’s difficult when you change so much, it’s always tough. It’s always sad and tough. Ole used to play with me before and now he was the coach. A fantastic person. When he left everybody was sad, but it’s part of football.

When things don’t go the way the club wants, the club has to change. I was disappointed but we have to understand the club. It was difficult but life continues. But I still believe that we are capable of doing a good season. We know it’s going to take time to make the ideas of the new coach on the pitch. But I’m looking forward. We have to work hard, we have to be together as players. We know we are not in the best moment, but I believe with working hard we can achieve important things, even this year.