Juan Mata feels his Manchester United team-mates are reaping the rewards of working with Louis van Gaal, whose early endeavours as manager have instilled a new-found confidence and belief ahead of the all-important 2014/15 season.
The Reds claimed the International Champions Cup with an impressive 3-1 win over historic rivals Liverpool, wrapping up a fifth consecutive victory of a hugely successful pre-season tour of America.
United will now fly home to Manchester and the Aon Training Complex ahead of the Barclays Premier League opener with Swansea City. During an exclusive post-match interview with ManUtd.com, Mata explained why the players are relishing the new campaign.
“It was a good tour for us, a good two or three weeks trying to get ready physically and mentally while trying to adapt to the new system,” explained Mata. “Obviously, we didn’t lose a game which is good for the confidence but the most important thing is that we believe in what we are doing.
“We also take home a lot of love from the supporters,” he continued. “It was amazing from the first day until the last - in every stadium, in every training camp and in every hotel. I think [we take home] the support and obviously the new ideas that the manager has brought.
“We are all excited to start the new season. Everybody wants to do better, we want to fight for the trophies and this club deserves that. We will try our best.”
Mata scored his second goal of the tour during the 3-1 win over Liverpool with a deflected effort that put United ahead in the 56th minute to cap an eye-catching performance from the Spaniard, who continues to impress in the no.10 role as part of van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation.
“I feel good and I feel comfortable in this position,” Mata explains. “I have to do what the manager wants me to do, both offensively and defensively, and I am trying to do that. It can be a good position for me to try to perform to my best.