Nemanja Matic training

Matic admits to 'looking in the mirror'

Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic admits he needed to “look in the mirror” after the 3-1 defeat to West Ham United and is billing Tuesday’s visit of Valencia in the Champions League as the biggest game of the season so far.

The midfielder was part of the team beaten in disappointing fashion at the London Stadium and has stressed that everybody is determined to turn things around at the club.

Following the 3-0 win over Young Boys in the group opener, the European tie provides an opportunity to quickly get back on track. After reviewing what went wrong against the Hammers, the Serbian flatly dismissed any suggestions that the players are not giving their all.

Nemanja Matic on the ball at West Ham.
Nemanja admits the performance at West Ham was not good enough.

“This game [against West Ham] was really bad but we also have responsibility,” he said. “Everyone has a responsibility for that and I don't believe that any player goes to the pitch to not give his best. Everyone who started the game wanted to do better for himself and, after that, it is better for the team, but something wasn't good. And, for me, I think that I played one of the worst games since I signed for Man United. I look in the mirror and I want to see where I made mistakes and what I can do better. For sure, everyone does the same.

”I think that, on Saturday, we didn't play well, but I think that we gave our best in that moment. Why didn't we play well? For sure, the manager is going to tell us. For sure, the manager is going to show us a video where we make some mistakes and what we can do better. This game was really bad but we also have responsibility, everyone has a responsibility for that and I don't believe that any player goes to the pitch to not give his best.“ 

Three points against Valencia would go some way to lifting morale after a difficult end to September, a month that had started so positively for the Reds.

”It's always difficult when you lose the games,” Matic added. “It's always difficult if you don't collect the points, especially when you play for a big club, a club that's supposed to win titles and trophies. So, it's very hard, but this is football. This is life and, for sure, everyone wants to do better.

Nemanja Matic in action against Young Boys.
Matic helped the Reds win comfortably away to Young Boys last month.

”We know we didn't play well in the last couple of games and everyone will try to resolve this situation because everyone has a responsibility for that. Of course, when you play for Man United, everyone expects you to win the games and, for sure, when you don't win a few games in a row, there's more expectation on you, attention also, and we know that.

“This is life, this is football,” he told MUTV. “We have to do better to turn this situation [around] and, for sure, against Valencia we will give our best to make our fans finally happy and we have to give our best.

'Let's do our talking on the pitch'Video

”I think we have to take a lot of responsibility because we have not been playing well. We have that on the pitch and, of course, we share the responsibility with the manager. I think players who are more experienced, like me, Ashley Young and [Antonio] Valencia, take more responsibility because, of course, everyone expects us to lead the team. I know that we haven’t played well and we will try to do better as soon as possible.

“It’s very important. As you know, to progress in the group you need [at least] nine or 10 points, so we need to get points and if we win tomorrow [Tuesday], we will have six. After that, we will need three or four more points to pass [through] the group, so tomorrow is the most important game so far this season for me.”