Thursday, 1 March 2018

Juan Mata: Manchester United must win every game to keep alive title hopes

Juan Mata feels the Premier League title is still in reach for Manchester United, but admits his side must win all their remaining games to maintain any hope.

Rivals Manchester City sit in the driving seat this season and can go 16 points clear with victory over Arsenal on Thursday night.

However, Mata feels United, who play Crystal Palace on Monday, have no cause to give up, and could still be crowned champions with a flawless run.

Mata, talking at the official opening of the Red Cafe supported by Melitta, United’s official coffee partner, said: “We would love to be first, but what we have to do now I think is we have to try to win every game till the end of the season and then let’s see in May where we are.

“That’s how we face the next games and that’s how the manager tells us to face them.

“It’s very important to not lose hope and to keep earning and adding three points after three points like last weekend [Chelsea].

“It shows we believe until the end, we are United and obviously we never give up, especially in those kind of games. It was a good feeling to earn the three points and have a few days of rest to now be fully focused on Crystal Palace.”

One player who could have a big say for United in the latter stages of the campaign is January signing Alexis Sanchez, who is still settling in after his transfer from rivals Arsenal.

Mata has hailed the signing of the Chile forward, even though it may have a long-term effect on his position within the team.

“Alexis is a great player and it’s fantastic news for us to have him with us,” Mata said. “Competition is high, in a team like Manchester United there will always be some kind of competition for places.

“Over the years I have been playing in different positions, since Valencia as a left winger and then I moved when playing for Chelsea as kind of No 10.

“Since I came to United I am playing mostly in the right, but I am trying to adapt myself to different positions and try to give my football for the benefit of the team and that’s what I enjoy doing.

“Goals have always been part of my game and this season I haven’t scored as many as I would like but I’m doing assists and having the chances and I think that’s important as goals will come.”

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