Nemanja Matic

United Briefing: Crucial weeks are coming

In-form midfielder Nemanja Matic believes the next few weeks will be critical to Manchester United’s season, on all fronts.

The Reds are back in action tomorrow night (Thursday) at Old Trafford, where we hope to seal a place in the last-16 of the Europa League by pressing home a 4-0 first-leg advantage over Real Sociedad in the round of 32.
 
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are also in the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup, and remain second in the Premier League.
 
It means important games are coming every few days, and Matic says he and the squad are brimming with motivation as the battles intensify across all competitions.

The quiet influence of Matic v NewcastleVideo

“The season is long, and we are still playing for a lot of trophies,”
Matic told club media.
“I always like to say that the next game is the most important. It's always a final for us. 
 
“We are focused now on [Real] Sociedad on Thursday, then Chelsea, after that City. But let's finish first the job against Real Sociedad and make our step forward towards that final.”
The Serbian has already won domestic titles in England and Portugal, but is desperate to win a trophy with United, as the season enters its final months.
 
“Do I like this period of the season? Yeah, it’s good,”
he explained.
“That brings more motivation, brings out of you more energy and that's a good thing in football.
 
“The next few games, every game is a big challenge for us. Maybe it will decide the title race. I hope in a positive way! I hope we're going to stay in the title race, because our dream is to win the title one day with our club. [The] next two or three games are very important for us, and can show the way where we want to go.”

Highlights: Real Sociedad 0 United 4Video

Despite the healthy scoreline from our first-leg meeting with Real Sociedad in Turin, Matic wants complete focus when the two teams reconvene in M16 on Thursday evening.
 
“We can't relax,”
he admits,
“because you saw how our game [in the] first 30-35 minutes was not that easy [in Turin]. They created some opportunities. They have some amazing players in their squad. We cannot relax, because they know how to play football.
 
“It's special for them,”
continued Matic.
“Adnan [Januzaj] played here, Old Trafford is like home [for him]. David Silva played here many times against Man United. But also [for the] other players. You don't have every day the opportunity to play against Man United at Old Trafford, so I'm sure they will come here to show to the people that they deserve more than that game. [The] 4-0 was not their day, so everyone has extra motivation at Old Trafford. So we have to know that and we have to be focused like the first game.”

Tunnel Insider: United 3 Newcastle 1Video

WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
 
 
Daniel James spoke to United Review ahead of Thursday’s Europa League second leg against Real Sociedad, passing judgment on new boy Amad and explaining how he reacted to the praise he received from Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish following his performance against the Basque club last week.
 
Elsewhere, David Beckham has responded to Marcus Rashford’s goalscoring feats with modesty, after the Wythenshawe-born forward drew level with him on 85 United goals. Talking of all-time top scorers, why not have a bash at the latest United Quiz?
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?
 
We’ll be building up to tomorrow’s Europa League match with Real Sociedad, as United look to confirm our progression to the last 16.
 
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hold a pre-match press conference at 13:30 GMT, which you can follow in full via ManUtd.com and our Official App.

Earlier in the day, the Reds will train in front of the cameras - keep an eye out in all the usual places for the pictures, as they could give a clue as to who will be in Ole's plans.

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