Matic urges youngsters to take their chance
Nemanja Matic is urging the Manchester United youngsters currently training with the first team to make the most of their opportunities this pre-season.
The squad returned to Carrington earlier this week and, with several senior players still competing with their countries at Euro 2020, a high number of youngsters have been involved in the early sessions.
Tahith Chong, Ethan Galbraith, James Garner, Joe Hugill, Dylan Levitt, Facundo Pellistri and Tenden Mengi were among those taking part, as well as Anthony Elanga and Shola Shoretire, who both featured in first-team matches last season.
And the experienced Matic says they shouldn’t overlook their chance to shine – even going as far to suggest that a player’s career can be made from one good performance in a training session or friendly.
“I saw so many things in football,” explained the Serb. “One day you don't see a player, but the next day he plays a friendly game amazing, and then the manager starts to think about him, and then everything can change in one day.
“But of course, they need to use these days to train well because a good game doesn't come just like that. You need to work for that and you need to deserve sometimes the luck. They have a great opportunity now for that.
“We have some great, talented players in our squad now. Some of them they already played with us in the league, some of them they were on loan. It's always good to see how they've improved, because I remember when I signed four years ago they were kids. Now they are serious people!
“They've grown, so it's always great to see them here. They have to use this time when they train with the first team to look for the opportunities. They need to know that so many people in the world want to be in their position to have the chance to train at least once with the Man United players.
“So I'm happy that they're very motivated, they are training well, and yeah, I'm really enjoying [it].”
The 32-year-old is also glad that United will get a proper amount of time to prepare for 2021/22, after a miserly pre-season period before the COVID-affected 2020/21 campaign.
“It's always important after a hard season to recover well, then to have one month to train properly, to prepare your body for the long season that is ahead of us. So it's always important to train good.
“I know that the guys who play the Euros, they will have less time to rest and to prepare for the season, but everyone has to adapt, of course.”