Jose Mourinho has been forced to revise his life by the end of the year.
Mourinho said a fortnight ago that Manchester United, currently seventh, would be in the top-four by the time 2018 came to a close, and gave an interview to Brazilian TV in which he is said to have claimed the Reds need a miracle to finish in the Champions League places.
But after a draw 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace and 2-2 draw at Southampton, which has left United Arsenal, who has visited the United States.
"Before the Crystal Palace game I told my hopes and targets were, by the end of December, to be in that position," said Mourinho.
"The target changed, but in the sense of let's try to close the distance and we are very close to these positions.
"So I think it's far from a miracle, we just need to be better off, we need to perform better, but far from a miracle. "
But when asked if it was acceptable for United to be down in seventh place, Mourinho said: "I think Manchester United, in seventh place, I can agree, in spite of the Everton made investment, which was phenomenal.
"Obviously there was a great improvement in this field, but I do not think Everton will be in the front 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 oven.
"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.
On tomorrow's opponents Arsenal, who will arrive at Old Trafford we have 19-game unbeaten run, Mourinho said: "It will be a very difficult match for us because we are going to play against a good team in a good time, without an accumulation of matches, because they are playing the Europa League and when you play Europa League you normally play with second-choices and give good rest to the players. "