How Nemanja Matic changed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s mind at Manchester United
Nemanja Matic has revealed hard work and self-belief has been key to his Manchester United resurgence in 2020.
The Serbian international appeared destined for a January or summer exit at the outset of the 2019/20 campaign, considered peripheral by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after being dropped following a 2-0 defeat to West Ham in September. There were even rumours about a feud between Matic and Solskjaer after some comments made by the 31-year-old while on international duty.
But injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay just after Christmas brought Matic back into the side and he registered a string of solid displays.
He’s been able to continue that form for United this summer after football’s restart following the coronavirus pandemic and has now spoken about his efforts to win a place back in the Old Trafford starting 11.
“I always try to be professional and give my best when I am on the pitch, it doesn’t matter if it is training or a game,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ve played football for a long time already and this situation is normal, sometimes you don’t play and the coach doesn’t see you as a first option. You can accept it or not but you have to be professional.
“You have to work hard, wait for your chance and use it. This is exactly what I did.
“Now the situation is different, the coach trusts me more. I’m a soldier and I wait for the instructions from my coaching team.
“To be honest, when you don’t play of course you think about everything but in my head I always try to be positive. I always believe in my quality and I know if I work hard my time is going to come again.”
Matic is expected to start for United against Brighton in the Premier League this evening as he continues to provide the perfect foil for Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in midfield.