Football

Man United must be ready to win trophies: Nemanja Matic

But Ferdinand thinks Red Devils boss Solskjaer needs time to turn things around

Despite expectation that Manchester United remain in transition as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks ahead to his first full season at Old Trafford, midfielder Nemanja Matic believes the Red Devils must be "ready" to win trophies next season.

United finished last season shorn of silverware and have not truly challenged for the English Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, finishing a dismal sixth last season.

But Serbian midfielder Matic says the Red Devils have to think positively and be physically and mentally ready for next season.

He told United's website: "I think we need to be focused from the first day, to prepare physically and to be ready mentally for the season which is in front of us.

"We (must) think positively.

"We want to win trophies, so I think everyone needs to be ready."

Back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero agreed, saying United have to target silverware next season.

The Argentinian told United's website: "We will try to be better than last season.

"This year we didn't win any trophies; next season we want to win a trophy, take the club to the highest position we can.

"You are already used to us winning and celebrating and we want this too - to keep celebrating and winning and trying to be the best we can."

With Liverpool and Manchester City looking miles ahead of the chasing pack, Solskjaer admitted last month that a title tilt is unlikely in the near future.

Former United winger Memphis Depay summed up how the 20-time English champions' stock has fallen since Ferguson's exit, writing in his autobiography: "Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world. In name.

"But for years, they played football that put you to sleep."

However, ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand believes his old team can awaken from their slumber, provided Solskjaer is given sufficient backing.

The 40-year-old, who is reportedly in the running to become United's first technical director, believes his former teammate can have a similar impact to Juergen Klopp at Liverpool, if he is allowed to change the philosophy at Old Trafford.

TURN THINGS AROUND

Klopp has turned around the fortunes of the Reds incrementally since he arrived at Anfield in 2015.

He lost the finals of the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League before finally securing his first piece of silverware in England when he led Liverpool to a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final last month.

He almost made it a Double, but fell one point short of champions Manchester City in the EPL two weeks earlier.

Nevertheless, he led Liverpool to the third-highest points hall in EPL history and the best of any second-placed side.

Ferdinand told talkSPORT: "Man United fans have to be patient.

"The strength of Liverpool and Man City, how many points ahead they are and how far ahead they are in terms of what they're delivering on the pitch, is huge at the moment.

"To close that gap is going to take some doing.

"But I think it's more than just the first team, I think the whole philosophy of the club, there needs to be a clear picture and I'm sure Ole is in the process of creating that.

"You think of Liverpool, when Klopp came in he had time to really implement his ideas, what he believes is the right strategy to go forward from a recruitment point of view, but also playing style.

"It was the same for Pep Guardiola.

"If Ole can get that time and can get that right, and get his ideas into the players with clarity, then they're onto a good thing."

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