Manchester United’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic reacts to their defeat on the pitch after the English FA Cup final football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London on May 19, 2018. Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 to lift the FA Cup thanks to Eden Hazard’s penalty at Wembley on Saturday to salvage a disappointing season. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON /
Nemanja Matic says Manchester United “can fight for the title and the Champions League” if they make the right signings in the transfer window after defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup final left the Old Trafford trophy cabinet bare.
Jose Mourinho’s team lost Saturday’s showpiece at Wembley 1-0 to Matic’s former club, with Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty enough to settle the contest.
The defeat means Jose Mourinho was unable to add to the League Cup and Europa League double from his first campaign in charge at Old Trafford.
United finished second in the Premier League, their best position since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, but they were 19 points behind their neighbours Manchester City.
Mourinho has been backed heavily by the club since his arrival, bringing in the likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Romelu Lukaku and Matic for big money, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez were signed on huge contracts.
But midfielder Matic believes more is required if United are to compete at home and in Europe next season.
“I think we need some players with some experience to bring some more qualities to our team,” Matic said after the defeat to Antonio Conte’s team.
“After that, we can fight for the title and the Champions League also. I think that we have improved. As you know, United last year were sixth. The year before that, fifth.
“So we improve, we are second. The only team who is better than us this year is Man City. Obviously, they play amazing football. But we are second and we are in the Champions League next year which is the most important thing.”
The Serbia international admits the pressure will be on the whole squad to deliver success because of the lack of silverware this season.
“Of course, this is football,” he said. “When you don’t win one year the next year (there) is always more pressure. When you play for the club, Manchester United, it is a normal thing and we have to accept that and deal with that.
“When you win the trophy it’s different and you feel better but the most important thing is that we can look in the mirror and know we gave our best (in the cup final).
“I feel the team was sad after the game — we know we deserved more — but this is football. This is a final — everything can happen — so we have to be focused on the next challenge.”