Nemanja Matic will not count this season as a success even if Manchester United lift the FA Cup.
United booked their place in the semifinals with a 2-0 win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday night. It was a timely boost for Jose Mourinho’s team after their surprise Champions League exit to Sevilla in midweek.
With Manchester City on the verge of clinching the Premier League title, the FA Cup is United’s last chance to end the season with a trophy.
But Matic, who scored one and made one against Brighton, admits it will not be enough to satisfy the expectation at Old Trafford.
“I think no,” said the Serbian midfielder when asked whether winning the FA Cup would make it a successful season.
“Because I always want to win more and more, but in the Premier League you have six or seven teams who want to win the league.
“It is not possible to always win, but if we win the FA Cup it is good, but not perfect.
“You have four competitions in the season. If you win one for me it is not enough, but you always have to do your best.
“In the Premier League, when you are in the first four this is not perfect, but [it] is good to play for the Champions League next season.
“If you win the FA Cup, I cannot say it is a successful season, but it’s a good season.”
Mourinho singled out Matic for special praise following victory over Brighton, while criticising a number of other players including Luke Shaw, who was substituted at half-time.
It came a day after the Portuguese coach launched a passionate defence of his record at Old Trafford during his weekly news conference.
Matic knows Mourinho better than most of his teammates after a successful spell together at Chelsea.
And the 29-year-old insists everything the 55-year-old does is designed to get the best out of his players.
He added: “He is special because he wants to win always.
“You can see when we lose a game he cannot accept that. Probably that’s why he won more than 20 trophies in his life.
“It is very difficult to work with him because he always wants more and more.
“Even if you win the league he wants to win again next season. He is like this and the players need to be ready for that. Because at this high level and Manchester United and where I used to play Chelsea, the players need to be ready for that because the pressure is big.
“Everyone expects you to win every game.
“Obviously it is not possible, but supporters always expect. It doesn’t matter if you are tired or not, supporters want high-quality football. It is normal.”