Matic: Burnley win can be our springboard
Nemanja Matic believes Sunday's win at Burnley proves Manchester United will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
Matic made his second start of the campaign in the 2-0 Premier League victory at Turf Moor and afterwards insisted the players have the quality to mount a title challenge, despite a disappointing first month of the campaign.
“It was important for us to pick up three points, because we have lost a lot,” the Serbian midfielder told MUTV.
“We are six points behind the top of the table, so we have to pick up points and we have to start to win games.
”I think we played well, like we did in the first half against Spurs. We won 2-0; we also had many chances to score more goals, but I'm very happy with 2-0.
A first-half brace from Romelu Lukaku set United on the way and the Reds had numerous chances to add to that advantage after the break, including a saved penalty from Paul Pogba.
Nemanja outlined how Jose Mourinho had set the Reds up to deal with the aerial threat possessed by Burnley, with Marouane Fellaini making his first start of the Premier League season to assist the United back line.
“The manager was very confident before the game; he prepared the game in a very good way,” Matic said.
“We knew they could make problems for us on those long balls. That's why Fellaini played close to our defence to collect those balls and I think this performance shows we know how to play football and we can still compete for the title.”
It had been a difficult week for the United squad after defeats at Brighton and against Tottenham at Old Trafford. Nemanja was asked whether the manager's usual demeanour around the Aon Training Complex had changed in the build-up to the game and whether he had tried to take some of the pressure off the players with his comments to the media during the week.
“He knows what he is doing, for sure, and it's good for us,” Nemanja explained.
“He's one of the best managers in the world. You know what he has won in his career, so that shows you everything.
”I think he's dealing very well with the pressure. That's why he is here at Manchester United and I don't see any difference.
With United currently sitting in 10th position after four games, Nemanja believes it is still too early to look at the Premier League table, with the season still very much in its infancy.
“Of course, but they [our opponents] all have to win all of their games,” Nemanja added when asked if the Reds can afford any more slip-ups over the course of the campaign.
“I think that's not possible. Someone has to lose and drop the points.
”It's still to early to say something. We will see in March where we are, because in March you can see who is fighting for the title, who is not and who is fighting for the top four, so it's still too early.