Juan Mata signs autographs for Manchester United supporters at Old Trafford

Mata: We must be ready for a busy run

Hi everyone... on Thursday we play our first midweek game. A busy run of matches, away trips and flights… that's what the next three weeks are going to be like. Therefore, we have to be prepared both physically and mentally.

Fortunately, we arrive at this point after a very hard-fought victory against Leicester which has given us optimism and confidence to kick off the Europa League campaign tomorrow.

Everyone at the club believes that Manchester United should be playing in the Champions League every season, but we have to accept where we are, respect the competition and our opponents and ask the most from ourselves. I have been lucky enough to get the chance to lift this trophy alongside my team-mates in Stockholm and I remember how sweet it tasted after winning such a title.
Juan Mata surges forward with the ball during Manchester United's 1-0 win over Leicester City
Juan-nil: Mata feels the hard-fought win over Leicester has lifted the squad's confidence.
So, let's go for it. We are going into the game against Astana with ambition. The Kazakh champions came from the Champions League qualification stages and had to get through three rounds to get to this point for the Europa League group stage.

We are expecting to play against an opponent who wants to make history at Old Trafford, but for us it is very important to kick off with a win. 
Only three days later, we are paying West Ham a visit, who are four games without defeat, and we want to be able to make it three wins back-to-back.

Earlier this week, we had the amazing news that David has extended his contract with the club and wants to stay to get Manchester United and the fans back to where they belong. I’ll have to keep holding onto him for a few more years yet!

Hugs, Juan

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