Nemanja Matic is saddened by Manchester United’s FA Cup exit at Wolves, but wants the players to use anger from that defeat to fuel their efforts to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League.
The Serbia midfielder is aware United’s season is in danger of derailing after Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Wolves.
It was a second straight defeat after a 2-0 loss at Arsenal last week, the first league reverse under Solskjaer.
Fifth-placed United are just a point ahead of Chelsea and two points adrift of Arsenal after Solskjaer turned the season around since replacing Jose Mourinho, winning 14 of his 19 games and taking them to the Champions League quarter-finals.
But Matic knows United must not let the top four slip away.
“We have to give our best now to reach the top four. We cannot let it go like this. We are not happy with the game,” he said in the wake of the Molineux defeat.
“We will analyse everything. There is a lot to play for. We have eight games to play in the Premier League and we are fighting for the top four.
“We have the Champions League as well. We will see what we are able to do and how much quality we have. We have to learn from this type of game.
“Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham will give their best to be in the top four. Everybody knows that.
“If you see two months ago we were 11 points behind Chelsea and now we are in a much better position.”
Marcus Rashford scored an injury-time consolation after Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota had put Wolves 2-0 up in the second half – with the match drawing this honest assessment from the manager.
Solskjaer said it was the worst performance of his reign but Matic expects the boss to put it right.
He said: “We will analyse this game to see where we made mistakes and see what we can do better.
“I am sure he (Solskjaer) will turn this situation around and we will do better.
“After the international break we will see. The first game back after a break is always difficult especially for a team who has so many players away in the national teams. Almost everybody at United is on duty.
“We spoke after the game and said we have to be focused for the next one and stuck together and get the top four which is the main target for us.
“I want Ole to stay. He is a great manager, very positive and the club will decide.”
Meanwhile, United’s hopes of a summer deal for Gareth Bale have suffered a setback following our news that a surprise European suitor are readying an approach.