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Mata Still Believes

Few would give Man United much of a chance but Juan Mata is refusing to give up on a top four finish this season.

Mata, January's big money arrival at Old Trafford, knows it'll be a tough ask but also knows that 'mental strength' could help this bid and there aren't too many that show more of this than United with the club famous for this over the years.

It will take a monumental effort but it's something he feels can be done.

Mata told Canal +: 'The objective is to get to the Champions League spots. It's difficult because Liverpool are doing well, so are Arsenal, as well as Tottenham and Everton, who are all clubs also fighting for them, but I think we have a team who can do it.

'This is Manchester United. When this club wins two, three or four matches in a row, it has a very important mental strength, a winner's mentality. We are coming and I think we can do it, but we have to win a lot of games first.'

United have overcome the odds in the past, closed huge gaps to win the title, but given the way this season has gone it would rank among the clubs best achievements if the 11-point deficit they have on great rivals Liverpool, currently in fourth, can be overturned.

A string of wins could make things very interesting though.

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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 18 2014

Time: 11:01AM

Your Comments

Lies, damned lies and statistics! The way statistics were trotted out by the media to condemn United's performance in the Fulham match is reflective of the reflexive hostility towards the serial winners and Moyes. In truth, that game was where United came closest to resembling the United of old where the opposing team set up to park the bus and United hammered them until they collapsed from sheer mental and physical fatigue! Playing the United of old was like playing the parlor game, Space Invaders where the opposing team find the tension rising with each attack with United relentless, inexorable and unstoppable like the "Space invaders"! If not for 2 lapses in concentration by Vidic (which he redeemed in the next game against Arsenal) the outcome would have been a near certain United victory. The final result could happen to any team. After all, Mourinho was moved to accuse West Ham of playing "19th Century Football" after Chelsea was thwarted. In that match Chelsea pelted the West Ham goal throughout the 90 minutes without success! Why were stats not trundled out to call Mourinho tactically naive? So I'd urge Moyes to revert to playing the system adopted for the Fulham match - its the United way as he'd asserted after the match! If there's one thing Moyes should tweak, it is to vary the attacks instead of just relying on crosses. Moyes is too nice which is why he's victimized by the media who behave like sharks sensing blood whenever there's an adverse result. He should be strong enough to stuff the critics, like SAF used to do. Moyes should not hesitate to tell them precisely what he thinks of their nonsense without the need to be apologetic! I have no doubt then that the team will be discovering their best form after this break in Dubai.
Frank Law
Can't really expect the players to come out and say it's beyond us even if it is. With Evertons, Liverpools & Tottenhams fixture lists considered there's still a somewhat decent chance we can get fourth but only if we have a massive turnaround and win every game from here on. Considering how this seasons gone though how massive a task that actually is speaks for itself. Too post again Frank Law.
Top post again*
You won't get 4th spot - it would mean expecting Liverpool to lose 4 out of 12 games while you win most of yours - and with all due respect to both teams - it isn't going to happen. We've got to come to your place and I can't wait, the days when I would dread playing your boys have long gone, three more points on our way to hopefully the title. However 5th is do able, Spuds only have to lose three. How do you feel about Thursday nights and Sunday afternoon footie next season?
I don't think Liverpool dropping 12 points is in the realm of impossibility. Bear in mind they're suffering from indifferent form away and are yet to play ourselves, Southampton, Cardiff, Palace, West Ham & Norwich away, 3 or 4 of which you'd imagine to be tough fixtures with the respective teams positions considered. At home on the other hand they've got to play yourselves, Chelsea and Tottenham which again will all be tricky ties for them even with the home field advantage. The issue pretty much lies solely on the idea that we've got to win all of our games.

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