Matic defiant despite Leicester setback

Sunday 17 October 2021 08:00

Nemanja Matic has opened up on the huge disappointment he felt after Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to Leicester, and sent his apologies to the travelling United fans present at the King Power Stadium.

But the Serbian refused to wallow after the chastening defeat, and insisted the Reds remain in the title race despite the setback.
 
“We are sorry for them [the supporters],” lamented Matic. “They support us, especially away [and] they are top. They deserve much, much better than this. 
 
“We will do our best to make them happy in the future. But we have 14 points – we are still in the title race. We don’t want to give up until the end.”
United took the lead in the East Midlands with a superb Mason Greenwood long-ranger, but eventually succumbed to Leicester pressure in the final 15 minutes of the game, where the Foxes scored three times – despite a Marcus Rashford goal which briefly levelled the score at 2-2.

“Of course, we are disappointed,” the 32-year-old continued. “Everyone is sad, everyone is with their head down at the moment. But when you play for Man United, if you don’t win the game of course you are disappointed, but we have to stick together. 
 
“It’s time to stick together, to analyse this game as soon as possible, then to think about the next one, which is in three or four days against a very good side, Atalanta. It’s also going to be hard. We are very disappointed, but I think that, in the future, we will show we are much better than this.”
Matic was also eager to praise the opposition, who delivered an excellent second-half performance that made life difficult for United.
 
“We started with that [Greenwood] goal, which was great,” he said. “An amazing goal. But after that they controlled more of the game. They created a lot of chances. So we have to be honest; we have to say that they deserved to win.
 
“Was it frustrating to concede so soon after making it 2-2? Yeah, after one minute we conceded the third goal. Of course, [the] frustration was there. But sometimes you have to say when the opponent was better, and to see where we can improve, what we have to do better. Because I’m sure our team is much better than this.”
United have two home games up next, both of which are equally important: a crunch Champions League home match against Atalanta, and then the always-intense visit of Liverpool to Old Trafford.

“Every next game is the most important; every next game is a new challenge, an opportunity to show your qualities,” insisted a defiant Nemanja.

“We’re going to take responsibility; we’re going to step up and see what we can do. I’m sure that we can do a lot.”

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