New Manchester United signing Nemanja Matic has wasted no time in insisting his club can challenge for titles this coming season.
Matic was speaking to MUTV.
“I feel great,” he said. “I am very happy because I am part of this great club, part of this great group and I am looking forward to training with this great team and to start to play the games. Manchester is one of the biggest clubs in the world and also I wanted to train with Jose (Mourinho). When you have a coach like him and a club like Manchester you don’t need to think about it so my decision was very easy. I am very happy because we will be again together.
“He is a great coach and when I worked with him before he gets the best from me and I improve a lot with him so I am very happy to be with him again, especially in this great club, so I am happy with that. When the coach wants you to come to the club it gives you more motivation, more possibilities and I will give my best to show that I deserve to be at this club and part of this group.
“It’s very important to come to new clubs as soon as possible to have time to adapt to the coaches and to new team mates and I am happy that I have some days to train with them before the first big game against Real Madrid, so I am sure that this season all together we can do big things. I didn’t train with the first team at Chelsea, I trained alone and with a fitness coach. It’s not the same as training with the team of course, but I have enough time before the season starts to prepare myself. I am not 100 per cent ready but I will be very soon.”
Matic is looking forward to linking up with United’s other recruits of the summer. “I know them both,” he said. “Victor (Lindelof) I have been with at Benfica. (Romelu) Lukaku, I didn’t play with him because when I left Chelsea he had just signed there and I didn’t have the chance to train and play with him but I know him because we played against each other many times. They are both great players and they will help Manchester hit their targets. I think this squad is ready because it’s more mature and they have already worked with Jose one year and they know what they have to do and I am sure we can do many things this season.
The midfielder doesn’t want to predict how he will settle in. “It’s difficult to say because I like the supporters to make that judgment on me, but as I said before, I will give my best and I always try to do even more than I can on the pitch,” he says. “That position, the player needs to give balance to the team and control the game and that is what I try to do. I can’t say that position is more important than any other position, but when you play in the centre of the pitch you have to know every time where the ball is, and when you attack you have to know how to stop the opponents to make counter attacks because in that position you have to give balance.”
Matic’s name fits into the syllables of another famous Nemanja to have played for the club. Matic rates Vidic very highly. “He was a great player, he was one of the players who I look to be similar to because he had a great career. When I came first time to the Serbian national team he was one of the captains, one of the leaders, so it is great to be in the same club as him and I will try to repeat what he did at this club. I know it is going to be very hard but I will try to do the best because I don’t want him turning to me one day and saying, ‘what are you doing there?!’ so I will try to do my best for him to be happy,” Matic said, adding he’d be delighted if the fans adapted the Vidic song for him.
He said he was looking forward to his league debut. “It’s going to be something special,” he admitted. ” To play at Old Trafford in a Manchester shirt I think is something special. I didn’t have that opportunity yet but for sure it is going to be great and yeah I am looking forward to it. As a member of the team I think we can do many things. I am sure that we will try to win the Premier League and in the Champions League. You never know in the Champions League, anything is possible.
“Manchester is one of the best teams in Europe and it’s very difficult to make a plan before the season starts, but we will try to win every game if it’s possible. I missed the Champions League last year, so this competition is something special. It has the best clubs in Europe in it so we are happy to be in it. I know a couple of players, especially (Juan) Mata because I played with him and I saw him this morning, but most of the guys I have played against them and I think my adaptation will be quick.”
Matic stands to make his debut next week in the Super Cup against Real Madrid. “It’s going to be a great game – two big clubs, so it will be interesting,” he says. “All the world will watch that so I am happy that we can already compare our qualities with theirs. They are Champions League winners. It will be a hard game but I am sure we will be ready. The message (to fans) is one that we will give our best to make them happy and win the league this season and yeah, that’s it. We will give more than 100 per cent.”