EPL 2016/17: Nemanja Matic reveals what it felt like when subbed by Mourinho after being brought on
Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has revealed that the most terrible day of his professional career was under former manager Jose Mourinho when Chelsea travelled to St Mary’s to take on Southampton and Matic was subbed off after being brought on.
The Serb was brought on by the then Portuguese manager at half-time with Chelsea trailing the Saints by a goal, and when the Saints increased their lead to two, Matic was withdrawn by the manager.
Being subbed off was hard, says Matic
Having won the Premier League a season earlier and playing a key part in that campaign, Matic revealed the humiliation and says he was shocked by the decision but had to take it professionally and just work harder.
“How did I feel? Terrible," said Matic to the Express.
The Chelsea midfielder continued and said, “I am a man first of all and of course I felt bad. But I didn’t react, I stayed professional. I respect this club, this shirt I wear every week, and that is why I didn’t react. Inside it hurt, of course. Some players react and cause some problems but I didn’t. It was very hard. You have to play football to see how it feels.”
“Of course it is not the worst thing that can happen to you. It was a football match. You have to cope with things like that, be professional, respect the team. The worst is when you are injured. I knew I did the right thing when I sat on the bench. I am proud that I didn’t react,” as was quoted from the Express.
However, Matic still maintains that he has nothing but respect for Jose Mourinho, who brought him back to Chelsea in 2014.
We’ve improved as a team, says Matic
Matic went on the speak about the current Italian boss at the helm at Chelsea, Antonio Conte, and said that he has revitalised the squad after the thrashing at the hands of Arsenal.
Chelsea has not conceded a goal in the Premier League since Conte made the switch from a back four to a back three, lead by David Luiz in the middle, flanked by Cahill and Azpilicueta.
Matic believes the Chelsea squad is improving every day and are firm title challengers, “We have improved as a team. Every day we work on what the coach wants from us and day by day, we are better and better. Individually, everyone is one step better than before.”
Chelsea thrashed Man United and manager Jose Mourinho 4-0 at The Bridge a fortnight ago and have gone 410 minutes since conceding a goal in the Premier League.
Chelsea next welcome in-form Everton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
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