MANCHESTER, England — Nemanja Matic has challenged his Manchester United teammates to show they have the character to stop the rot of their recent run.
Jose Mourinho’s side face Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday after a dismal sequence that has seen them draw with Wolves, exit the Carabao Cup to Derby County and lose to West Ham.
Matic said supporters at Old Trafford would see against Valencia which players were leaders and which were not.
“I don’t think with talking you can resolve something,” the midfielder told a news conference on Monday.
“The leaders need to be on the pitch. The leaders are the players who are not scared to play. We will see, and in the next games, who are the leaders.
“For me, if you talk in the dressing room that doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes it can help, but the most important is on the pitch.”
Matic said his performance at West Ham had been his worst for the club but stressed that the players were behind Valencia and keen to end the slump with positive results against Valencia and Newcastle before the international break.
“We didn’t play well [against West Ham] but we gave our best in that moment,” he said. “This game was really bad, but everyone has a responsibility for that. I don’t believe that any player goes onto the pitch not giving his best.
“Everyone who started the game wants to do better for himself, and after that it’s better for the team.
“For me, I played one of the worst games since I signed for Man United. I look in the mirror and I want to see where I made mistakes and where I can do better. For sure, everyone does the same.”