Juan Mata has reflected on his first few months as a Manchester United player but says that he has had no surprises. He knew when he joined the club that it was going to be a difficult season but has been given enough assurances about the future not to worry.
“I knew these six months were going to be difficult,” said Mata. “Even before I came, things were difficult here, so I knew I wasn’t coming to a side that was going to win, win and win. But I knew as well that this club was going to come back and that the future was going to be bright. When I was in my situation at Chelsea, not playing, everyone I spoke with in football said, ‘Yeah, maybe Manchester United aren’t at their best this season – but it’s still Manchester United!’ It’s not a team that’s just played one season in the Champions League and you’re going to a club that’s not top level. No, this will always be a top level club, one of the biggest in the world. So if you don’t play Champions League one season, you’ll play in it the next year, or you will still win trophies, because it’s what the club is about. I have no doubt about it. When I joined, in all my conversations with the board and the manager about next season, they were confident about getting the right players. They know, and I know, we’re in a transitional moment, but in the summer they’re going to try to sign a few players and I have the faith they are going to bring top players in. I’m sure this club is going to come back and fight for every trophy. Since I was a kid, Manchester United was fighting for everything, and this moment is going to come back for sure. The club is in a transitional moment. They had Sir Alex Ferguson as the manager for the last 26 years, so I think it’s a big change for the club. I don’t know how many clubs in the world that have had the same manager for nearly 30 years – probably none. That was a unique situation. But we have to look forward to the future, and I have to say I think the future for this club will be bright, because it deserves the best.”