MATA: OUR OBJECTIVES

Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

Juan Mata, scorer of the first Chelsea goal under Roberto Di Matteo's leadership, says we must now look forward as the season enters its critical stage.

The Spaniard continued his trait of scoring in each round of the FA Cup by firing home from close range at St Andrew's last night to follow up strikes against Portsmouth and QPR in previous rounds, making his second-half penalty miss academic as we strode into the quarter-finals.

The win came just two days after the departure of Andre Villas-Boas as the club's manager, and Mata admits it has been a difficult time.

'The win was important, talking about confidence for the team and a new start with a good run of results for us,' said the 23-year-old. 'It was very important for the team to win and we are very happy for the 2-0.

'This week was not easy for us with a change of the manager, but when you are on the pitch you are always thinking of giving your best, trying to win and that's what we did today.

'We were sad because it is always a difficult moment when a club changes its manager. He is a very good manager and a very good person, but now we keep working without him, with Robbie, and we say thanks for everything. Andre was a very good manager, a very good person as well and we are very grateful to him of course.'

Mata was brought to the club by Villas-Boas in August, and has been one of the outstanding Chelsea performers this season.

'With Andre I played a lot of games, and for me he was important,' said the former Valencia man. 'I came here first for the club, but as well for him, and he gave me a lot of confidence, so for this I am very grateful to him.

'The most important thing now is to think of Roberto Di Matteo, who is our coach, and to finish well in these two months.

'We all knew Robbie before. He is a very good guy as well, he knows Chelsea from the inside and used to play here. We are all with him because it's what we have to do.'

There is still a great deal to play for, with a top-four spot to secure, Champions League progression a possibility against Napoli to contend with next week and a place in the last eight of the Cup.

'We will try to win the FA Cup, it's a special competition with the opportunity to play at Wembley, which is very nice, and we will try to win. We will try to beat Napoli, it is possible, we can win 2-0, and we will give 100 per cent until the end of the season to achieve our objectives.

'We have to prove ourselves every game, for us, for the other players. We are playing in a top club and always we try to do our best in every game.'

Mata also divulged what was said to the squad by owner Roman Abramovich during a meeting on Sunday.

'He said we have the opportunity to change this run of defeats and [on Tuesday] we did it so we have to keep going and try to get better,' the winger said.

'There is a lot of feeling in the dressing room, no matter what the game or the manager. We are all focused on the same objectives, to do the best for the club and every one of the players does.'

You can watch Tuesday's highlights online with a subscription to Chelsea TV.