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Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Nemanja Matic before the Emirates FA Cup final against Chelsea

Matic: Let's focus on the next challenge

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Nemanja Matic admits that the expectation on Manchester United to deliver a trophy next season will be greater after the Reds missed out on the Emirates FA Cup at Wembley.

The 1-0 defeat to Chelsea consigned United to a campaign with no silverware despite an improved Premier League finish and a return again to Champions League football next term.
 
Matic’s colleagues Jesse Lingard and Ashley Young have vowed the Reds will come back stronger for the experience, and the midfielder himself accepts the challenge of avoiding back-to-back seasons without a trophy.

Watch what happened in the finalVideo

“When you don’t win one year, the next year is always more pressure. This is football. When you play for Manchester United, it is a normal thing and we have to accept that and deal with that,”
said Matic.
 
“When you win the trophy it’s different and you feel better but the most important thing is that we can look in the mirror and know we gave our best. The team was sad after the game. We know we deserved more but this is football. This is a final – everything can happen – so as I said we have to be focused on the next challenge. 
 
“I think that we have improved this year. As you know, United last year were sixth. The year before that, fifth. So we improve, we are second. The only team who is better than us this year is Man City.
“Obviously, they play amazing football. But we are second and we are in the Champions League next year, which is the most important thing.
 
“As you saw in the game (the cup final), we tried to play – we played good football – but Chelsea have some players that can punish every mistake, like (Eden) Hazard did, so we have to accept to see where we can improve and next year to try and win some trophies.
 
“We gave our best and this is the most important thing. The problem is if you feel you didn’t give your best and lose the game but we gave our best. We tried everything but we have to accept it.”

Losses sweeten wins article

Results like Saturday's can make us stronger, writes ManUtd.com's Adam Marshall.

Matic has identified the need for United to ensure they maintain top level form throughout the 90 minutes of every game next season.
 
The Reds have been guilty at times this campaign of either tailing off in games or finishing in top gear. Combining both is a problem that needs rectifying, according to the Serbian.

Young: We have to come back strongerVideo

“We played 90 minutes’ good football at Wembley,”
added Matic.
“I don’t know how it looked from the outside but I felt in the first half we also played football. Obviously it was better in the second half but in the first half we controlled the game, though we conceded a goal from one mistake.
 
“Some games we played much better in the second half. We have to try to play 90 minutes in the same way.”