Juan Mata has stressed that Manchester United players need to believe they can win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Man United have only claimed one Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge since 2002 – a 3-2 win against a nine-man Andre Villas Boas team back in 2012.
Their poor defensive start to the season – they have conceded 14 Premier League goals, the fourth most in the division – provides further cause for concern ahead of the meeting with an unbeaten Chelsea side, thriving under Maurizio Sarri.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Mata stressed the importance of players taking a positive mindset into the game.
“Our aim is to change the negative run of results at Chelsea,” he said.
“We will try to be clinical in the chances we have, defend well and play with confidence. We have to believe we can win, we need that mentality in those important games.”
Beating Newcastle and having a two week period away from it all would have helped a beleaguered United team deprived of confidence – especially Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford, who both scored for Belgium and England respectively.
But that will not be enough to overcome this almighty challenge. Stamford Bridge is a place where even Sir Alex Ferguson was beaten almost every year. For whatever reason, the 21st century United has suffered there in a way totally different to any other ground.
Supporters will just hope to see their team, at the very least, produce a spirited performance and not capitulate.