Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is aware that a club of their stature cannot afford another year of mediocrity in the coming Premier League season.
In spite of their status as record winners of the Premier League, with 20 titles to their names, it has now been six years since United were last crowed champions of England.
While two of their biggest rivals went head to head for top honours last season – with Manchester City finishing just ahead of Liverpool with 98 points, United were a staggering 32 points off the pace in 6th.
But, ahead of @ManUtd‘s @IntChampionsCup clash with @Inter, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks it’s unlikely we’ll see such dominance again in the @premierleague! #MUFC #MUTOUR #ICC2019 #iccsghttps://t.co/deSDTh8cPG
— FOX Sports Asia (@FOXSportsAsia) July 19, 2019
Thus far, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s charges have picked up two wins on the trot in pre-season and will be looking for a third in Singapore when they take on Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.
While it looks like United have plenty to do if they are to mount a title charge in the 2019/20 season, Matic is aware that has to be the target.
“It was not a good season for all of us,” Matic said. “Our target was to [qualify for the] Champions League but we didn’t make it.
“So, we know this season we have to do better because, when you play for Manchester United, you have to fight for trophies.
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“We know that very well [and] everyone of us expects to do better this season.”
With the departure of Ander Herrera to Paris Saint-Germain in the off-season, the heart of the United midfield is suddenly looking thin on options with Matic, Paul Pogba and Fred the only real senior options, along with the up-and-coming duo of Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira.
Having been hampered by injuries on occasion last season, Matic is ready to play an important role in his team’s bid to rise up the table.
“Last season, I had some problems with injuries but I was not happy with my form,” the Serbia international explained.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 20, 2019
“But, at the moment, I feel great and I will continue to train hard and help the team.
“My position is very important… to [be the one who] talks to my team-mates, especially for me as one of the more experienced players.
“I think this pre-season we are training very well, everyone of us is trying to give something extra.
“I’m sure this season we’ll play much better. Whether that is enough to win some trophies, we shall see.”