Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matić has warned his teammates that they must challenge for the Premier League title next season.
After a sloppy start to the season, United's hopes of beating Liverpool to the title faded early on, but performances in the second half of the season - no side earned more points after February 1 - showed that the Red Devils do have what it takes to compete.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January, coupled with the emergence of young Mason Greenwood as a real star, has given fans confidence that United can finally compete for major silverware once more, and Matić says the 2020/21 season will be a chance to atone for their inconsistencies last year.
“From the next season there is no excuse,” he told The UTD Podcast. “We have to go with everything. We have to fight for the title because I felt that this year we dropped some points too easy.
“We allowed Liverpool to win [the title], I don’t know, ten games before the season finished. They won the league, so we cannot allow that. We need to fight to the end. We have to play with more confidence, with more responsibility.
“My personal target is to win the league with United and I am sure that everyone wants to do the same. We have to promise our supporters that we will do our best - exactly what we have done after [the coronavirus lockdown] when we started to play again. That’s Manchester United.
“We have to win five, six consecutive games then you can drop some points, then again you have to do that run. Like that we can win the league. In the beginning of the season we were not stable, we won one or two games then we lost and we drew. Proper United is exactly what we did after [lockdown] and I hope we can continue like that next season.”
United's hopes of being competitive next year were handed a boost on Sunday after it emerged that a fee had been agreed with Ajax to sign in-demand midfielder Donny van de Beek, who is expected to undergo a medical in the coming days.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had been keen to add some more creativity in midfield and felt as though a £40m move for Van de Beek was too good to walk away from.
With those negotiations now all but over, the focus will return to trying to convince Borussia Dortmund to part ways with winger Jadon Sancho, who remains United's number one priority this summer.