Nemanja Matic gave a very interesting interview to Chelsea official website, to analyse the moment the team is undergoing while chasing the Premier League title and also to speak about his growth as a player and as a man in the past years.
He first pointed out the character of the team: a side that never surrender and that showed a great mental strength, especially in the last games that were not so easy, despite the victories obtained:
“This is very important because whoever wants a title has to do things like this. Especially the last three games were very difficult and we showed we have good character and we showed lots of qualities”
“The game is 90 minutes so if you score in the first minute or the last minute it doesn’t matter, what matters is how many points you get from that game. Of course we always try to score early but it is not always possible, although especially early in the season we scored a lot of times in the first 10 minutes. We still have seven games and maybe we start again to score in the beginning of the game, but every game is a different story”
“Of course if you have more possession of the ball, it is normal you have to score but you know how it is in football, it is not always the team that has the ball all the time that wins”
“Sometimes a team has one shot, scores one goal and wins but whoever has more possession and has more attacks has more chance to win, of course!”
Matic also reminds the time when as a young boy had to leave his country, Serbia, and his family to go to Slovakia to start his career as a professional footballer and asked if it does help on-pitch with the tests such as the ones faced this season, the 26-year-old says:
“When I went from Serbia for the first time I was 18 and without my parents and brother and it was difficult for me, especially because I didn’t see my family at all for four months. It was hard but this makes you stronger and for the future it is good. It was difficult for me at that time but I was happy because I felt like a real man, I had to do something alone and this made me stronger”
“This I will keep with me all my life, it stays with me and I don’t want to forget that time”
Matic leads the Premier League special tackles table with 79 made and he is behind just Cesc Fabregas and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure when it comes to number of completed passes made. He first considers his prominence as a tackler.
“I don’t know how to explain it but maybe the reason is because we are attacking a lot and I am the player who has to win it when we lose the ball. This is my job, get it back and give to my players to attack again”
“Midfielders not only in our team but all teams play the most passes. We control the game and this is very important, we have to pass and we have to be those players who decide when to attack and when to calm the game”
Against QPR both Matic and Fabregas avoided the booking that would have ruled them out of today’s Manchester United clash and Arsenal next week. Asked if he thought about this during the match, he said:
“To be honest, in the last game against QPR I forgot about the cards, I just thought to play my game and I think that Cesc also did”
“If you think about that then you cannot be focused on the game so you have to be concentrated on just what you have to do, so it is good to be available for the next games as these are very important for us”.