Nemanja Matic has been looking ahead to Manchester United’s clash with West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday, insisting that the Premier League was the club’s main priority this season.
The Serbian has won two titles in three years with Chelsea and has wasted no time bringing that steel to Man United, producing a powerfully assured performance against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Jose Mourinho’s men could only muster a painful 1-1 draw in this fixture last season – a result reflective of their ongoing woes at home in the Premier League last season – and can not afford to start off in the same way on Sunday.
And Matic has insisted that the side, heading into the new campaign, can take plenty of confidence into the new season following a smooth pre-season.
“We have to rest well because we have a very important game on Sunday against West Ham,” he said.
“It’s the start of the Premier League and it’s very important for us. As you know the Premier League is the main target. There is a lot of games, it’s a long season but I expect us to do well.”
“I think we played everything so we don’t lose this game. We played against a very good side. Very experienced. They know how to play these games. We are not happy that we lost but did everything.
“We had an opportunity to equalise, Marcus (Rashford) had a good chance and didn’t score, unluckily for us, but this is football.”
Madrid dominated proceedings against United for the large part, but Mourinho’s men can take plenty of positives away from the game: Fellaini’s influence, Romelu Lukaku scoring, Matic looking right at home in midfield and the fact that, despite being outclassed, they should have taken the game to extra time.
One concern that looms large, however, is United’s continued wastefulness in front of goal. Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Lukaku all wasted brilliant chances to score in Skopje and supporters, above anything, will want to see their side lay down a marker on Sunday by remaining composed in front of goal.