Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has called on his side to produce a positive reaction after Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Bournemouth.
The Red Devils missed out on an opportunity to break into the top four on Saturday after being held by the 10-man Cherries, in what was United’s seventh home draw in 14 Premier League games at Old Trafford this season.
“All of us felt very frustrated after the draw against Bournemouth on Saturday, it’s the same feeling that we had a few months ago after some similar games at Old Trafford,” Mata wrote in his weekly blog in the Daily Mirror.
“Unfortunately, we have that sense of déjà vu again. We played good football, we created chances, but yet again we weren’t efficient enough to turn that into a better score. We let two points slip away, that’s clear.”
The Spaniard added: “All we can do now is to look ahead as we are facing many challenges in just a few days. As I always say, the good thing is that soon after a defeat you have an opportunity to make it up. Football doesn’t stop and it always gives you another chance to release your rage by doing what you like most.”
United now face a critical period in their season as they search for more silverware, with an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Chelsea sandwiched between a two-legged Europa League last-16 tie against Rostov.
Jose Mourinho’s men will head to Russia on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s first leg and Mata insists that his colleagues will need to show their best form in order to get a positive result.
He added: “First of all we have the Europa League tie against Rostov, including a long trip that is going to test the strength of the team in every sense.
“The Russian side is particularly strong at home: this season they have defeated Bayern Munich and Ajax, for instance. That gives you an idea of how tough they are.
“Four days later we will play in the FA Cup against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Another key game, a top-level tie in such a special competition. We will need to play a great game if we want to celebrate back-to-back FA Cup titles at Wembley.”