Matic vows to fight un­til fi­nal sec­ond of the sea­son

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER - NICK PURE­WAL

NE­MANJA Matic has warned ti­tle ri­vals Tot­ten­ham that Chelsea will fight to the “very last minute” of the sea­son to seal the Premier League crown. The Blues lead sec­ond-placed Spurs by four points with five games to play, and Matic is con­fi­dent they can grind their way to glory in An­to­nio Conte’s first sea­son in charge at Stam­ford Bridge.

“Of course we have ex­pe­ri­ence from win­ning the league two years ago,” the Ser­bia mid­fielder said ahead of to­day’s game at Ever­ton.

“We have to stay con­sid­ered un­til the last minute of the sea­son. Not the last game, the very last minute. I’m sure we’re on our best and I think the next game will be cru­cial for us. It’s dif­fi­cult to fo­cus game by game, but we have to do that.

“If you want to win the ti­tle, you have to be ready for ev­ery­thing. You have to know the Premier League is like this. We are fo­cused. We al­ways work very hard, and we will do that un­til the end of the sea­son. In ev­ery mo­ment, we have to be ready for ev­ery­thing.”

Matic cracked a fine strike as Chelsea top­pled Tot­ten­ham 4-2 last week­end to reach the FA Cup fi­nal, and the 28-yearold has now backed the Blues to seize that mo­men­tum to drive to­wards the league ti­tle.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant for us to play in the fi­nal, be­cause the FA Cup is very im­por­tant for ev­ery foot­ball player in Eng­land,” Matic said. “I’m very happy. It’s go­ing to be an in­ter­est­ing game and one I’m look­ing for­ward to. We’re in a good way. We have four more points than Spurs so we’ll try to give our best to win the ti­tle.

“And of course the last game of the sea­son will be the fi­nal. We’ll try our best. You never know what will hap­pen, but we’re con­fi­dent.

“You can­not win all your games. Some­times you lose, but after that the re­ac­tion is im­por­tant. We lost against Crys­tal Palace [2-1 on April 1] but after that we won against Manch­ester City and Bournemouth. The most im­por­tant thing is the re­ac­tion. We lost against Manch­ester United [2-0 on April 16], but after that we beat Tot­ten­ham [in the cup] and Southamp­ton.

“So I hope that we can con­tinue this now, and this is a cru­cial game for us.”

Ever­ton v Chelsea, Sky Sports 1, 2.05

Ne­manja Matic: ‘You can­not win all your games’

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