Juan Mata is confident Jose Mourinho can bring back the glory days to Manchester United because ‘he hates to lose’.
The Old Trafford-outfit turned to the Portuguese last summer after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal failed to prove worthy successors to Sir Alex Ferguson.
United have lifted the EFL Cup this season, but a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League means they must now win tomorrow’s Europa League final against Ajax to fulfil their target of reaching next season’s Champions League.
And Mata, 29, believes Mourinho’s fierce will to win in a results-driven profession can justify him as the right man for the club.
“Well, we all hope that,” said the Spaniard, who also worked with him at Chelsea. “He hates to lose – and that is a fact.
“I think he is the same and hasn’t changed. The circumstances have changed, the club, with obviously a different squad, but that’s it.
“Obviously he has been in so many finals and the mentality that he gives to the players, to be in a final, but win that final, is very important for him and for us obviously. That is what he is good at, speaking about how we can do that mentally and how we can be ready mentally.
“Everyone has their own personality and their own ways of thinking about football, the way to play and win.
“And I think to be a manager at the top level you need to have that because otherwise nowadays in football there is no patience in football.
“If you don’t win you are out, that is how it is.
“Obviously if you are the manager or a player for this football club you have high demands.
“You know, it doesn’t matter if Sir Alex Ferguson just left, it doesn’t matter about the size and quality of the squad, you are always asked to reach the top.
“And I’m confident that sooner or later we can deliver that.”
Mata, who won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013, a year after their Champions League triumph, admits United’s players have been watching Champions League games together and “wishing next season that we are there”.
“The Champions League is the best competition in that you don’t play and it’s a competition this club should be playing in every season,” he added.
“Now the situation is that we are playing in the Europa League and if we win it as I did a few years ago, it’s a double bonus, as it’s a trophy and a Champions League spot.
“And I keep believing and thinking positively about winning big trophies here. I’ve seen the fans behind us all the time, both in the good times and the bad times, giving us their strength, so I imagine myself with the fans really, really happy after winning big trophies, starting from this Wednesday, but hopefully also in the following season.
“They have been so good to us in not the best moments, I imagine myself in the best moments and it will be crazy.”
In the two squads for the Europa League final, only Man United's Juan Mata (2012/2013) and David de Gea (2009/2010) have previously won it pic.twitter.com/Qa07ENz1t6— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) May 22, 2017
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