Following the hugely disappointing result on Tuesday night against Wolfsburg, which saw Manchester United fail to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, Juan Mata has insisted the club now have to aim to win the Europa League.
It’s disappointing for us, for the fans and for everyone. But we have to move on. I played in the Europa League three seasons ago, coming out of the Champions League, and, at the end, we won it [with Chelsea]. So you never know. Obviously, we wanted to carry on in the Champions League but the reality is what it is. We’re in the Europa League and we have three different tournaments to fight for and that’s what we’ll do until the end of the season.
For myself and for everyone, it’s time to give our best, like always, and try to start getting results. We need to do it as soon as possible, which is away to Bournemouth. It’s going to be tough but we definitely want to go there and arrive at the stadium feeling that it’s going to be a good day. We’re focused on coming back to Manchester with three points and carrying on with the good run of results in the Premier League.
While of course this is what Mata has to say, personally, I hope Louis van Gaal plays all the fringe and reserve players in this competition, to give them a bit of experience, so we can focus all of our attention on the league.