London: Nemanja Matic says Manchester United must not blow their bid for a Premier League top-four finish after they were dumped out of the FA Cup in their second consecutive defeat under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Wolves followed a 2-0 loss in the Premier League Arsenal last week, the first league reverse under the Norwegian interim boss.
Fifth-placed United are just a point ahead of Chelsea and two points adrift of Arsenal after Solskjaer turned the season around following the sacking of 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 after 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.”
Marcus Rashford scored an injury time consolation after Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota had put Wolves 2-0 up in the second half.
United go into the international break with back-to-back defeats after losing to Arsenal last week, with Rashford’s goal their only real chance of the game.
“Today was the poorest performance we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Solskjaer.
“It was a big step backwards. There was a lack of urgency going forwards and a lack of forward passing and a lack of regains.
“We felt too comfortable in possession and we never put their keeper under pressure or their defenders under pressure.”
Matic expects the boss to put it right.
“I am sure he will turn this situation around and we will do better,” he said.
“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 stick 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.”
Solskjaer also delivered a positive message to fans.
“We’re in a great position in the league, we’ve got the Champions League,” he said.
“You can’t sulk for too long. We’ve got so much to play for. Man United in April and May always find their form. We can’t wait for the challenge when Barcelona come.”