Matic still playing to the crowd
Nemanja Matic will try to imagine he is stepping out at a packed Old Trafford this Saturday afternoon, when Manchester United continue the top-four quest with a game against Bournemouth.
The Reds enjoyed a memorable return to the Theatre of Dreams recently, following the resumption of the Premier League, running out deserved 3-0 victors over Sheffield United. Matic played a starring role in support of hat-trick hero Anthony Martial.
After another excellent win at Brighton on Tuesday night – by the same scoreline – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will be back at Old Trafford once more and Matic only wishes our fans could be there too.
“I try to imagine the stadium is full,” insisted the Serbian.
“It’s strange and not good for us [playing behind closed doors]. We like to play in front of our supporters because they sing during the 90 minutes and that gives you more motivation and you give more. But the situation is like this and we have to adapt and it’s the same for everyone.
“I try to look to our Directors’ Box [at Old Trafford] because there are a few people in there! [Laughs] We will give our best to win every game, if it’s possible, and, hopefully next season, we can play in front of our supporters and be back to normal.
“The Premier League is very hard, anyone can beat anyone, and it cannot surprise me because I’ve been here a long time and I’ve seen many things and anything is possible,” he added, when asked about the test Bournemouth will pose.
“They’re a good team and, in the last few years, they have played some amazing football and won a lot of big games against big opponents. We will prepare for that game as we do for every game and we will try to give our best with a lot of respect for them, but we know our quality and what we have to do.”
Other results went positively for United this week, with fellow top-four contenders Chelsea and Leicester City both losing, to West Ham United and Everton respectively on Wednesday. The battle remains incredibly tight among a host of teams and Matic insists every match has something important riding on it.
“For us, every game is a final, it doesn’t matter if it’s a real final in the FA Cup or the Europa League, for us every game is a final, we have to think like that,” he declared.
“We have to try to win every match and, at the end, we will see.
“We don’t depend only on us, we have to win our games and wait for others to drop points and I hope we can reach that third spot and, if we do that, then the season will be fantastic for us. I’m very, very confident and I think the team looks well at the moment.”
The 31-year-old midfielder is fast approaching his third anniversary with the Reds and, as his manager pointed out recently, he has been in sensational form of late.
“Time is flying here, I don’t believe it’s already three years!” he joked.
“I’m happy that I’ve had three years in a big club like Manchester United with top players and top coaches. We will see what the future brings and hopefully we can win some trophies for this club.”
We are all United as the Reds go marching on! On sale now, get your 2019/20 kit while stocks last.