Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic admitted it has been frustrating sitting on the bench this season.
Matic made his first start of the 2019-20 campaign as United edged Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday following the international break.
The Serbia international came in for the injured Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, however, Matic had been limited to just 22 minutes of action prior to Leicester’s visit.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has preferred Pogba and Scott McTominay in midfield, and Matic said: “Of course [it has been frustrating]. I want to play, I always give my best for the team.
“The coach is the man who picks the team and when you are on the bench you are not happy, but I am trying to convince him to change his mind and pick me to play.
“The season is long. [Against Leicester] as you saw I played, and we won the game.
“I am happy so we will see in the future what the coach will decide. I am ready. In the last 10 years I have played in a high level and every game I try to do my best to help the team because I think I am a team player and I can help a lot I think.”
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When asked about knocking on Solskjaer’s door about the situation, Matic – who arrived from Chelsea in 2017 – added: “No, I never did that. I show my quality on the pitch, in training sessions and in games. This is not my way to fight for the place.”
While it has been a frustrating start to the season for Matic, the 31-year-old saluted United’s young players.
Marcus Rashford, (21), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (21), Daniel James (21) and McTominay (22) have all performed well for United, who are fourth and seven points off the pace after five matches.
“It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or 35, you play for your team because you deserve to play,” Matic said. “Manchester United are giving opportunities to the guys who grew up here in the academy and that’s good because in big clubs they don’t always get those opportunities. At big clubs there is always the pressure to get results.
“This season we can see who is ready to play at a high level. I am happy for them. I like to see young players on the pitch and hopefully they can bring us some fresh energy for the rest of the season.”