Juan Mata believes that Manchester United are capable of securing both FA Cup glory and a top four finish in the Premier League.
Louis van Gaal recently suggested that Champions League qualification is more important than the Cup but Mata claimed that he doesn’t necessarily agree.
Instead, Mata insisted that United have the resources to achieve both aims as the season draws to a close.
“We can get both,” he said.
“I believe that if we win every game in the Premier League we will have a chance to be there. I’m looking to win my first trophy with the club. The FA Cup is a special trophy.
“It’s been two seasons without a trophy and I am looking forward to lifting my first trophy here. But we have to win the final, it is not won yet. We are playing against Crystal Palace and it will be tough, but everyone is looking forward to it.”
United lost ground in the top four race with a 1-1 draw against Leicester City last time out. Van Gaal’s side are now fifth in the Premier League, four points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with a game in hand.
There are solid points for and against choosing one of either a top four finish or the Cup but the fact is that United shouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.
Despite spending upwards of £250m since he took charge of United, van Gaal has overseen a disappointing campaign due to his negative tactics, which prioritise possession at the cost of attacking verve. Winning the Cup would be a welcome distraction for supporters but failing to finish in the top four would be disastrous for the club moving forward.