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Out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has said manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to hold himself responsible if the club are not in the running for the Premier League title this season.
Matic, 31, has been a fixture in United’s midfield since his move from Chelsea in 2017 but has played only 22 minutes this season after making one appearance as a substitute.
United, who last won the league title in 2013, are currently eighth in the table after four games and trail league leaders Liverpool by seven points.
“The coach must opt for the team that will fight for the title and if he does not win, he bears the responsibility,” Matic told reporters ahead of Serbia’s Euro qualifier against Portugal on Saturday.
“I have been in football for a long time, I have played almost all the games for all the clubs in the last 10 years. In order for me to play, one had to sit on the bench and accept that fact, and so do I now.”
Solskjaer has picked 22-year-old Scott McTominay to partner Paul Pogba in central midfield in their first four games, from which they have one win, one loss and two draws.
Matic said he respected the decision but was determined to prove to the Norwegian manager that he belonged in the starting line-up.
“In the first two or three games he picked the team without me,” Matic added.
“I work as hard as I can. We respect the decision, it’s up to me to show him that he was wrong and to bring me back to where I belong.
“There is no problem. I told him I disagreed with him but that he had to decide the team.”
United return to league action after the international break when they host unbeaten Leicester City on Sept. 14.