Nemanja Matic has issued a warning to his Manchester United teammates about the modern-day make-up of the Premier League.
The 33-year-old is a three-time winner of the competition – all with Chelsea – having first touched down in the UK from VSS Kosice in 2009 .
Two spells in west London were sandwiched between two and a half years at Benfica, while Matic completed his move to Old Trafford four years ago.
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Limited to a back-up role these days, the experienced Serb has seen it all in the Premier League and thinks United have it much tougher than when he first arrived.
That’s owing to a number of high-quality teams in the competition.
Matic said: “I think this is the toughest league. When I came over in 2009, it was only Chelsea and Man United who were competing. Now there are a lot of teams who have a chance to win. The smaller ones have improved a lot and buy top-class players.
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“The Premier League is just very hard… much more than 15 years ago and, of course, every manager who comes to a new club needs a period to adapt.”
United are, meanwhile, continuing to adapt as interim manager Ralf Rangnick prepares to take charge of his fourth game since replacing sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – initially until the end of the season.
Owing to Covid-related postponements, the Old Trafford giants have not played since December 11 as they prepare to return to action at Newcastle on Monday night (8pm).
Matic added: “We had some problems and must have 100 per cent concentration from the first minute to the last, but when we are focused it’s difficult to play against us.
“You have to be clinical when you have a chance to score and, if you defend well, that is what brings you trophies. It’s time for us to show our qualities and finally win some.”
Photo Credit: Getty