Juan Mata has shed light on the frustrated dressing room atmosphere following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton in the Premier League last Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s men looked on course for an important three points at Goodison Park following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s smartly taken goal in the 42nd minute.
Mata, writing in his weekly blog, was unable to hide his frustration.
“Today we could extend that feeling of anger and regret after the draw at Goodison Park,” he said.
“We could just say that it was a pity and how helpless we feel when important points slip away at the end of games that you think you deserved to have won.
“It’s been like that in the last few fixtures at Old Trafford and also yesterday. That was how we felt in the dressing room after the game against Everton, and yet I prefer to look forward, think about the potential of this squad and how united we are in the desire to convert all these draws into wins.
“We have to look forward; complaining about the bad luck is not worth it. We must close the games and get what we deserve. That should be the only idea in our heads.
“We have six more games to complete a very busy December and close 2016, namely, Zorya, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sunderland and Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve. Three at home and three more away, although we don’t make any distinctions. We look at the best possible finish to the year and I’m sure we can do it.
“The next one is always the most important one. Against Zorya Luhansk we will play to be in the next round of the Europa League and we really want to make it. As we saw at Old Trafford, they are a good team, they have got two draws at home in Europe so far.
“It’s a long trip but we’re looking forward to playing there and having a good game. From then onwards, we will try to find again a good run of results in the Premier League because, despite the feeling when we play is good, we have to take our chances and close the games.”
United’s predicament is galling, but also remarkably simple.
With the game against Tottenham Hotspur – who sit six points ahead of Mourinho’s men – coming up, it feels as if their season can now go one of two ways: either they continue in the same vein, dominating games and yet somehow failing to win them, gradually falling further behind the pack at the top of the table; another possibility is that, finally, United begin to convert chances, seal a number of big results and suddenly find themselves within touching distance of the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal as they enter the new year.