Matic: We expect a hard game

Wednesday 08 December 2021 10:00

Nemanja Matic says Manchester United are expecting a "very hard game" in tonight's Champions League match against Young Boys, but that the squad are working well with new interim manager Ralf Rangnick.

Time on the training ground has been limited since Rangnick took over last week, but Matic revealed that the players and coach are adapting well to each other.

The German's first game ended in a 1-0 home victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday, and keeping the winning momentum with another Old Trafford win on Wednesday would be the ideal beginning.

United have already qualified for the Champions League knockout stages as Group F winners and so don't need to win against the Swiss champions. Nevertheless, maintaining winning habits is important and the game also provides an opportunity to give players young and old much-needed game time.

Matic spoke to club media's Stewart Gardner at Carrington and discussed working under Ralf Rangnick, an old Serbian team-mate and the quality shown by Young Boys in the first match...

Matic's matchday Q&A Video

Matic's matchday Q&A

Hear from Nemanja as he discusses Rangnick's quick impact and taking it one game at a time...

First of all, Nemanja, we've obviously had a new manager who's had a few days to work with the players. Is he making small differences out there?
"Yeah, of course. Every manager has his ideas, we are trying to adapt, of course, to give our best to help him adapt as soon as possible on us and, of course, we have to adapt to him. We are helping each other, at the moment, everything looks good, let's see on the pitch in the future."

I suppose there's not a lot of time with game after game, is it difficult to make changes with limited amounts of training time, really?
"Yeah, we don't have too much time to train. As you said, we play every three days but we are used to that. The manager knows - he knew what he could expect - so we have to learn his ideas step-by-step in every single day so we are using every single moment in the training session to understand his ideas."

And we're in a luxurious position of having qualified and topped the group with one game to spare, which, bearing in mind we lost our first game against Young Boys, to have qualified with one game to spare is quite something...
"Yeah, it's good. It's good to take that pressure off, and, of course, we want to win the last game, especially at Old Trafford in front of our supporters. We want to finish these group stages with the three points to make our supporters happy. I think everyone is happy, everyone is ready [and] we want to finish this in the best possible way."

Young Boys showed what they could do in the first game and they've still got something to play for, trying to finish third in the group...
"Yeah, they are a good team. It's not the first time we played against them, [we did] a couple of years ago. We played against them and I remember we had some difficulties. They are a good squad, a good club, so we expect a very hard game and I think we are prepared very well. We know what we can expect, so our approach will be good, I'm sure."

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Find out what's in our much-loved match programme for the Young Boys game.

Miralem Sulejmani (the Young Boys winger), you'll know him well from Serbia?
"Yeah, I've known him since we were 10 years old. We also played together in Partizan Belgrade's Academy so he's a good friend of mine and he's a great player."

We're in the last 16 already, when you get to the knock-out stages are you starting to think about going a long way in this competition?
"I always say the next game is the most important, so the next step is the most important. We are now focused on Young Boys, to win that, then, in the future, we will think about the next games. I said already, we cannot think about what's going to happen in one or two, three months, we have to always be focused on the next day."

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