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Sunday, 17 February 2019

Man Utd can mount title challenge next year, says Matic

AFP , Sunday 10 Feb 2019
Matic
FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs Crystal Palace - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 30, 2017 Manchester United's Nemanja Matic Reuters
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Nemanja Matic says Manchester United can mount a title challenge next season after they moved into the Premier League's top four for the first time since the opening weekend of the campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's superb start to life as caretaker manager continued with a comprehensive 3-0 victory for United at strugglers Fulham.

Anthony Martial scored a superb solo effort in between two Paul Pogba goals at Craven Cottage, putting United back in the Champions League spots after a six-month absence.

They had been 11 points off fourth when Jose Mourinho was sacked in December but Solskjaer's side have dropped just two points since his December appointment and Matic was buoyed by the latest win.

"We knew that if we win then we will be in fourth position," said the defensive midfielder. "Of course, Chelsea have one game less, but we are happy for three more points.

"We played well, we fight for each other. Clean sheet, we scored three goals, so we are very pleased."

United are the Premier League's in-form side, with their upturn in fortunes and Matic talked up next season's title chances.

"To win the league you need to win the games like we did in the last seven, eight games," said Matic, a two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea.

"So you need to win six, seven games in a row, then you can drop some points, to draw, to lose one game. But we have to continue, we have to continue like this. We have to learn always, and this is the way to play.

"This is the way to fight so if we play like this for the next season then we will be one of the teams who is going to fight for the title."

United play Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before a trip to face Chelsea in the FA Cup.

They head into those games unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions, with the Norwegian reaping the rewards of his upbeat approach.

"He's always positive," Matic said. "Of course, when we don't play well, of course he needs to shout a little bit.

"But he's the same, always positive. The same when I see him in the press conference, he's like this with us also in the changing room," added the 30-year-old Serbian international.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.

 
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