Jose Mourinho has stressed that Manchester United are a club in transition and that it should be obvious for "people with a brain".
The Portuguese manager has come in for renewed criticism following his side’s Champions League exit to Sevilla following a dour performance in their 2-1 second-leg defeat at Old Trafford.
United are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and also sit second in the Premier League, but critics say Mourinho's £300m outlay on players has not been justified by how the team has done this term.
"I understand the frustration, I understand the sadness of being knocked out in the Champions League, but I don't understand anything more than that," Mourinho told CNN.
"In the history of football all around the world, not just in England, you had the biggest clubs with the moments of transition, you have the biggest clubs with moments of continuous and permanent victories and these are phases in the club.
"And I think really at this moment in the Premier League we have one team, one club clearly better prepared than us in the past few years to be first and we have 18 clubs behind us. One in front of us, 18 behind us.
"Of course in the future we want to have 19 clubs behind us but this is the reality. And the reality is for people with a brain, with sense, with common sense, with knowledge of what sport is, we are in a moment of transition.
"Being in a moment of transition and still manage to do what he did last season and win trophies and to do what we are trying to do this season, which is still trying to win a trophy, and try to be second. Because, in this moment, it's the only top position that is possible for us to get. I think we are in a good position."