Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says expectations at Old Trafford are "too high".
United have spent more than £320m on players since former manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired three years ago.
They can win their first major trophy since Ferguson's departure when they face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final on 21 May, but Champions League qualification is out of their hands.
"We are in a period of transition. It is not so easy," said the Dutchman.
"We have to meet the expectations of the biggest club in the world. Expectations are too high."
Van Gaal replaced David Moyes in 2014 and United finished fourth in the Premier League in his first season.
But the Red Devils are four points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City this campaign, though they do have a game in hand.
Van Gaal was speaking before he presented David de Gea with United's player of the year award, which the Spain goalkeeper won for the third successive year.
The 64-year-old said his authority in the dressing room had been undermined by intense media scrutiny over his position.
But the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said: "When the media is writing for six months I am sacked already... I can cope with that. It is not new for me. For my players, it is not so easy.
"They are reading every day. What do you think about my authority? What do you think about the way they want to follow my advice, when their coach is showed like a nobody because I cannot do anything?
"But I am not like that. I am very arrogant. I am one of the best managers of the world."
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