MATA: FEELING GOOD
Having starred in Sunday's win against Brentford, Juan Mata says he believes the team is in a 'good moment' as we prepare for key battles in Europe and at home.
After booking our place in the FA Cup fifth round with yesterday's 4-0 victory, in which Mata opened the scoring with a fine low drive, we now face Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday before a trip to Manchester City on Sunday.
'We are in a good moment now. It was a good week for us winning in Prague, Oscar's goal was wonderful, and winning this game,' said the 24-year-old. 'Now we're starting to think about the Europa League again and getting through to the next round.
'In the second half we felt good, scoring four goals. It wasn't easy to win,' Mata said. 'In the first 45 minutes they defended really well. We had two or three chances to score but we didn't. the most important thing is we won and are into the next round.
'Oscar is a great player. He is still 21, very young, and already a very, very good player. I feel really pleased to play with him, I'm glad because he is a great guy as well.
'I understand why the fans want [Frank] here, the supporters love him. He is a great guy, a great captain who is a legend, and still playing, so for me and the team-mates it is an honour to play with him. He scored already 13 or 14 goals this season, and for 10 years he has been scoring more than 10 in the Premier League. He is one of the best.'
After three straight wins, Mata also had words of support for interim manager Rafa Benitez, who will now take us to Middlesbrough in the fifth round, with a trip to Manchester United or Reading the reward.
'Rafa is the manager, we are all with him supporting him. The manager, staff, supporters and players all want the same, winning trophies, and we are here to win.
'I know about Middlesbrough, because a very important player, Gaizka Mendieta, played there. It's a new stadium that I am going to play at, so it's good. The FA Cup is always good because we have the chance to know different places.'
Juan Mata's latest blog is now also online.