Nemanja Matic says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to hold himself responsible if Manchester United do not compete for the Premier League title.
Matic, who arrived at Old Trafford from Chelsea in 2017, has played only 22 minutes this season after making one appearance as a substitute against Southampton.
United, who last won the league title in 2013, are eighth in the table after four games and trail league leaders Liverpool by seven points.
“The coach must opt for the team that will fight for the title and if he does not win, he bears the responsibility,” Matic told reporters ahead of Serbia’s European Qualifier against Portugal on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
“I have been in football for a long time, I have played almost all the games for all the clubs in the last 10 years. In order for me to play, one had to sit on the bench and accept that fact, and so do I now.”
Solskjaer has picked 22-year-old Scott McTominay to partner Paul Pogba in central midfield in United’s first four games and although Matic respects the decision, he is determined to prove the Norwegian wrong.
“In the first two or three games he picked the team without me,” Matic added. “I work as hard as I can. We respect the decision, it’s up to me to show him that he was wrong and to bring me back to where I belong.
“There is no problem. I told him I disagreed with him but that he had to decide the team.”
United return to league action after the international break when they host Brendan Rodgers’ unbeaten Leicester at Old Trafford on September 14.
Paul Scholes does not believe Solskjaer’s side can compete for the Premier League title in the next two years.
The ex-United and England midfielder believes results this season show they remain behind last season’s top four in the Premier League.
He said: “I think you almost have to write United off for the next two years – this team – until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cleared everything he wants out; has four or five transfer windows.”