United briefing: Matic’s advice for team-mates

Nemanja Matic knows Manchester United must put together a winning run of games, in order to sustain a serious title challenge this season.

The Reds moved up to sixth in the table on Thursday following a 3-2 victory away to Sheffield United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men also have a game in hand over most sides in the division, which, should we win, would leave us two points off top spot.

For that reason, Nemanja feels the Reds are one of a number of sides who could conceivably mount a title tilt in the latter parts of the season.

The midfielder, of course, knows what it takes to win the Premier League having twice lifted the trophy during his time with Chelsea and, speaking after the game, the Serbian outlined what he thinks is needed to finish top of the pile.

Matic backs HendersonVideo

“Yeah I think so,”
Nemanja responded, when asked by club media if he feels we are in the mix for the title.

“I always say if you want to win a title, you have to win five or six consecutive games - then you can drop some points in maybe one or two games. Then you have to win five or six games again to win the league.

“We have to forget the game tonight and focus for the next one,”
he continued.
“For us, every game is a final. Every game is the game of our lives for us. I believe that we can do something.”
Thursday's game was the first of six matches in just 15 days for United, and Matic knows how important squad rotation will be over the festive period.

“We play many games, every three days,”
he said.
“We are lucky that we have a big squad. Sometimes we can rotate the players.

“I think everybody is ready. We only have one or two injured players, so every training we are training on the pitch. It’s good for the team and we are very confident.”

Rashford reacts to his two-goal performanceVideo

The Reds put in an impressive performance at Bramall Lane, with some superb passages of play throughout the 90 minutes, and Nemanja was keen to praise our attacking players after the game.

“Up front, they played some amazing football,”
the 32-year-old said.
“We scored very nice goals, but that’s exactly what we expect from them.

“That’s why they are Man United players, they have to decide the games; they have to make the game more easy for us to score goals and to create, so I’m not surprised.”
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?

Following our win in Sheffield, Ole’s mind has quickly turned to another Yorkshire opponent: Leeds United. The boss has already briefed the press ahead of Sunday’s encounter and those quotes will be released at 13:30 GMT.

Elsewhere, our Under-23s are action for the final time in 2020, away to Chelsea for a 12:00 GMT kick-off. As usual, you can watch the game live on MUTV.

We’re also expecting to hear from Casey Stoney and a member of the Women’s team ahead of our encounter with Bristol City in the WSL. A victory for the Reds at the weekend would mean we’d sit top of the table at Christmas.

Highlights: Sheffield United 2 United 3Video

WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?

It was a busy day at United, with the highlight being our 3-2 win over the Blades. Marcus Rashford got a double in the Premier League encounter which, alongside Anthony Martial’s strike, ensured we headed back to Manchester with all three points.

Ole and Marcus also spoke to club media following the game, while, for the latter, it was another trophy to add to his ever-expanding collection. Our no.10 was bestowed with the FIFA Fair Play award on Thursday for his off-field activities, and topped the Man of the Match vote at Bramall Lane.

Meanwhile, there was an update from the Premier League regarding a change to the rules surrounding substitutions, the club reacted to the latest Government guidelines surrounding COVID-19, while our Under-18s ended 2020 with a win against Leeds.

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