Man United struggled to break down a stubborn Newcastle defence on Saturday and the Magpies eventually earned a point.
It was a frustrating result and one that has led to calls for Louis van Gaal to bring in a world-class forward in the final days of the transfer window.
Mata insisted United played well but admitted that the result left a sour taste.
Writing in his weekly blog, Mata said: “It’s still August but the activity is very intense already and there is no time for celebration or mourning. As you know, our goal last week was to keep our winning streak, but we couldn’t make it. We got a good result against Club Brugge, especially if you take into account that things had turned bad after an unfortunate goal against us.
“Then the team showed character to come back, but we know there is still a lot of work to do in the second leg this coming Wednesday. We are really looking forward to it, we want to play a good game and seal our passport to the top competition in Europe.
As I was saying, we weren’t able to get another three points in the Premier League. The goalless draw against Newcastle last Saturday left us with a bad taste; personally I think we deserved to win but that doesn’t count… In my opinion the team had spells of our best football so far this season, and we created enough chances to score at least one goal.
“From a personal point of view, I felt very comfortable and was able to participate a lot, but I went home enraged for not being able to win, same as my team-mates. We need to win this kind of games if we want to be more consistent than last season… The good news is that we are strong in defence and we haven’t conceded a goal in the Premier League. Seven points out of nine is not a bad start, we have to be positive and keep moving forward.”
Possession is all well and good but at the end of the day, goals win matches and United have looked far from threatening in the Premier League this term.
On a positive note, Mata is right in saying that the defence is looking far more resolute. There was a question mark over Daley Blind heading into the campaign but he has performed admirably at centre-back. Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling have also been superb.