Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic enjoys working under 'very difficult' but 'special' Jose Mourinho

Matic likes the fact that Mourinho is demanding of his players

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Sunday 18 March 2018 16:00 GMT
Nemanja Matic rounded off Manchester United's win with a late goal against Brighton
Nemanja Matic rounded off Manchester United's win with a late goal against Brighton

Nemanja Matic enjoys playing under the “special” Jose Mourinho, even if the Manchester United manager’s high standards can make him “very difficult” to work with.

Mourinho watched his United side respond to their elimination from the Champions League last Tuesday by beating Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday night and reaching the FA Cup semi finals.

The United manager was, however, unhappy with the performance from the majority of his players, who he accused of lacking ‘personality’, ‘class’ and ‘desire’.

Mourinho’s remarks came just a day after an extraordinary press conference in which he embarked on a 12-minute monologue criticising United’s so-called “football heritage”.

Matic and Romelu Lukaku were the only outfield United players to receive any praise from that long rant and the pair of “high level” performers duly scored the goals that earned Saturday’s 2-0 win.

After the final whistle, Matic conceded that Mourinho “always wants more and more” and that it can sometimes be challenging to meet his manager’s demands, but he believes that this is what makes Mourinho “special”.

“I didn't have many managers in my life. He is special because he wants to win always,” Matic said. “You can see when we lose a game he cannot accept that. Probably that's why he won more than 20 trophies in his life.

“It is very difficult to work with him because he always wants more and more. Even if you win the league he wants to win again next season.

“At this high level, Manchester United and where I used to play Chelsea, the players need to be ready for that because the pressure is big. Everyone expects you to win every game.

“Obviously it is not possible, but supporters always expect. It doesn't matter if you are tired or not, supporters want high quality football. It is normal.”

When asked whether he enjoys working under Mourinho, Matic was unequivocal.

“I like when the manager always wants better and better, so you have to improve always. Always do your best. I like this kind of work, this kind of relationship. I'm happy.”

Matic claimed not to have seen Mourinho’s 12-minute monologue yet, but he is already confident that his manager “respects” the effort he puts in on the training field and in matches.

“I am doing my best and I am happy to work with him,” the 29-year-old added. “I'm happy to be part of his team, club. I think he respects what I am doing every day, not only in the game, but in the training sessions and I am happy for that and I will continue like this.”

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