Juan Mata has shed light on the gloomy dressing room atmosphere following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.
Man United have now drawn their last four games at Old Trafford – something that hasn’t happened since 1980, and now sit 11 points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Mata, writing in his weekly blog, expressed his disappointment after dropping more points at home.
“A few days ago, we beat Feyenoord in a good game. We were playing to stay in the Europa League and the team delivered; we enjoyed ourselves on the pitch and scored several goals,” he said.
“So far in the Premier League, though, we haven’t found that consistency, that winning streak that is so much needed and that we’re working so hard to achieve.
“When we seem to be close to a victory, it just slips away… I’m talking mainly about the Premier League games at Old Trafford, which is even more upsetting because playing in front of our fans is an extra, and that’s how we feel.
“We know we must find the target more often to score more goals. We are doing what is more difficult: being able to create those chances, and now we have to take them. I’m having a look at the calendar and I see that we have eight games to play before the end of the year. In my opinion, having so many games in such a short period is something positive because we are eager to play again.
“Starting with the EFL Cup, again with West Ham, and then visiting Everton next weekend. Two good games would help us to approach the Christmas season with more optimism. That would be very important because these few weeks are going to be very demanding, and every single team in the competition will struggle to get good results.”
There was almost a sense of foreboding as United emerged for the second-half, gearing up to attack the Stretford End in search for that vital winning goal. Both Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard had come brutally close earlier on, with Darren Randolph making two extraordinary saves. With Stoke City, Burnley and Arsenal still fresh in the minds of both players and fans, one couldn’t help wonder: is it one of those days?
And as Henrikh Mkhitaryan – amid a furious squabble of light blue and red – agonisingly struck the post late on, with Wayne Rooney‘s tap-in blatantly offside, it was confirmed (at least for me) that, yes, this was another one of those days.
One hopes that such emphatic domination on such a regular basis will eventually give rise to a string of results. And as United slip further behind leaders Chelsea, supporters will be desperate to see their side’s fortunes change sooner rather than later.