MATA: LEARNING IN DEFEAT

Posted on: Thu 02 Aug 2012

Juan Mata struggled to explain Spain's poor performance at the Olympics but believes they will quickly bounce back from the disappointment.

The Chelsea man was part of the Spanish team eliminated without scoring a goal at the London Games, beaten narrowly by Japan and Honduras before Wednesday night's 0-0 draw with Morocco in Manchester.

'We knew we couldn't achieve anything in this match but the team went for the win all the same,' Mata said. 'We had a lot of chances to score but the goal just never came, and it's hard to go through if you don't hit the back of the net.

'Bad luck had something to do with it. Our finishing wasn't sharp enough, though, and that's definitely one thing we need to improve on. We didn't score any goals and we didn't win a single match at these Olympics, but we're a proud team and we gave it our all right to the end, even when we knew there was nothing in the Morocco game for us. We fought to the final whistle in each game.

'There's a lot of disappointment because we had high hopes of doing well and yet it was all over for us after the second game. There's some anger mixed in there too.'

The 24-year-old however believes the youngsters, who were seeking to emulate the senior side's success in this summer's European Championships, will learn from the experience.

'You have to learn from defeats, take the positive things from them and grow as a result. This setback is going to help us mature in our careers and it's shown us that things don't always go your way.

'We'll learn that you can't always win, something we've been used to doing in the last few years thanks to the fantastic run the national team has had. It's situations like this that show you just how hard it is to come out on top.

'Feeling angry and hurt is understandable, but we'll get over that in time. There'll be new goals for us and we'll learn from this setback. We'll come back from it.'