Mata's direct message to the fans in United Review
Juan Mata has delivered a message of optimism to the Manchester United fans, stating that the Reds will give everything to reward such incredible support this and every season.
In an exclusive interview that appears in Saturday's edition of United Review, the Spaniard calls for the squad to improve after a mixed start to the season and looks forward to the challenge of facing Leicester City at Old Trafford.
“We had a great start against Chelsea and a big result,” says Mata in the match programme.
“After that, two difficult games away where we should have got more, but football is not about deserving – although I think if you constantly deserve, you’re going to finally get what you deserve. Especially at Southampton, we should have killed the game. Obviously, Crystal Palace at Old Trafford we cannot repeat. We cannot lose these kinds of games and know we have to improve.”
“My message is always being grateful for what they give us. I understand their frustration when we don’t get the results they deserve, so I feel sorry for that. But what I can do, individually, and what we can do, as a team, is give our best. Fans recognise that.
“Over results, what they value is that a player gives everything and tries as much as he can, and that’s what I do and what my team-mates do. If we want to get our objectives, we need to stick together — managers, players and fans — because there’s many people on the outside enjoying it when Manchester United don’t win. It’s key for us to stick together as a whole.”
EYEING UP THE FOXES
This weekend's fixture sees Brendan Rodgers return to Old Trafford for the first time since September 2015, when his Liverpool side lost 3-1.
Since then, the Northern Irishman led Celtic to to two domestic trebles in Scotland, including an invincible campaign, before returning south to join the Foxes in February.
“It’s a manager I’ve played against and know very well, while he was managing other clubs in the Premier League and even in Scotland,” Juan explains.
“A good manager, with a clear idea of football. His teams play a certain way, which is possession football with a purpose, quality football. Since Leicester won the Premier League, they have been adding and losing players, but always keeping that level, so they will be dangerous.
Juan believes that Jamie Vardy will be the player that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds will need to be wary off on Saturday afternoon. The speedy striker scored in our 2-1 victory over Leicester on the opening weekend of last season, and is already off the mark this term with goals against Sheffield United and Bournemouth.
“I think Vardy is mostly the danger,” he adds. There are a few players doing very well under this new manager, but he’s the one that stands out.
COMING SOON: SUDDENLY A FOOTBALLER
Earlier this week, Mata announce that his book, Suddenly a Footballer, will be released in October. It will cover all aspects of his football career, including his time in Spain, at Chelsea and of course at United.
“The thinking is to try to tell how the process [goes] from being a guy that plays football to being a football player,” Juan reveals.
“There’s a moment in your life where you end being amateur and become professional – with responsibilities not only on the pitch, but off the pitch. The book is a mix of anecdotes from my life — when I was a kid, when I arrived in England, when I was in Valencia, Madrid, now Manchester. I give some opinions about football, about footballers, about my way of understanding football. It’s a book that contains a mix of almost everything.”
Read the full interview in this weekend's United Review, the official matchday programme for the game against Leicester City.