Juan Mata: Manchester United must ‘move on’ from Champions League disappointment

by Ben Topliss

Juan Mata has urged his Manchester United teammates to accept their early Champions League exit and “move on” from the disappointment.

Man United crashed out of Europe’s elite competition following defeat against Wolfsburg this week, instead qualifying for the Europa League by finishing third in their group.

Louis van Gaal has come under increasing pressure at Old Trafford as a result but Mata insisted United must focus on doing well in the remaining competitions they are in.

“It’s disappointing for us, for the fans and for everyone. But we have to move on,” Mata said.

“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.”

Juan Mata

There have been rumours of discontent among the United squad, despite Mata’s comments, which suggests all is not well at the club.

A win against Bournemouth this weekend is crucial if United are to begin getting the fans back on side and restoring a sense of optimism at Old Trafford. A Premier League title challenge will be the minimum expected of van Gaal now that United are out of the Champions League. Fail, and there will be serious questions asked of him come the summer.

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