Ferguson has not completely given up on landing a fourth consecutive Premier League title.
However, the Scot does accept his side are in need of improbable assistance from neighbours Wigan and the situation looks "bleak".
Yet even if United somehow overturn the odds and become the first team to win four consecutive championships, Ferguson feels changes in personnel are inevitable.
"You have to take a decision about where we can improve the team," Ferguson told MUTV.
"When you are challenging for four trophies it can have a draining effect. You have to be aware of that and spot the moment when it is time to freshen up one or two players.
"It is not a desire to do it but you need to do it because the demands and pressures on players can, over time, be quite exacting."
Wayne Rooney will certainly be part of United's future.
The impact he has made at Old Trafford this season was confirmed at the club's annual player of the year awards as he lifted the three major prizes; fans and players' player of the year, plus the best goal.
"It was my best hat-trick," reflected Rooney, who will go into the final game with 34 goals to his name but knowing it should never have come to this.
"It has probably been the hardest Premier League. All the teams have lost games.
"If we could have been more consistent we would have won it.
"We shouldn't be losing seven games, even if other teams have dropped points as well."
Meanwhile, Ferguson will not torture himself by wondering where it went wrong if Manchester United fail to land a record fourth title on the trot.
Currently a single point adrift, there are a number of obvious points where the gap could have been made up.
"I used to look at every game but you can torture yourself with that," he told MUTV.
"We lost at Burnley at the start of the season. That was three points and we also missed a penalty. If we had scored that we might have won or at least got a draw that might have made a difference.
"We had a couple of refereeing decision against Chelsea. You could look at all things.
"You can twist and torture yourself but it happens. We get breaks ourselves sometimes."