Rooney losing hope of title: Manchester United must aim for top four

The Red Devils forward accepts that retaining their Premier League crown looks out of their reach and wants to focus on the battle for a place in the Champions League
Wayne Rooney admits that Manchester United must do better if they are to rescue their season and qualify for the Champions League.

The Red Devils' defeat to Stoke City on February 1 was their eighth of the Premier League campaign under David Moyes and left them seventh in the table, 15 points behind Arsenal.

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The defending champions only lost five league games in the whole of last season and Rooney confesses that hopes of retaining their title are remote.

"We need to do better as a team," the England international told the BBC's 'Football Focus'. "We're not in the best position but will keep fighting and keep going to get ourselves in as good a position as we can.

"We know it's going to be extremely difficult to win the title - realistically, top four has got to be our aim. Although we always want to win the league title, maybe it's a bit too far.

"David Moyes is a fantastic manager, I worked with him at Everton and for a number of months at United. He's done everything he can but it's the players that have to do better and hopefully we can do that."

Speculation about Rooney's future at Old Trafford has raged for over a season, with his contract due to expire at the end of 2014-15, but the forward says that he is not letting the discussion affect his focus.

"I've said all along I'm focusing on my football," he added. "[I] will try to do as well as I can for the team and help the team be successful."