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Juan Mata: Manchester United are motivated under Jose Mourinho this season

by Leo Nieboer

Juan Mata has insisted that Manchester United are motivated under Jose Mourinho this season, noting that the squad is on the same wavelength heading into the latter stages of the campaign.

Mourinho’s men, following consecutive Premier League draws with Liverpool, Stoke and Hull City, have quickly reasserted themselves with comfortable wins over Leicester City and Watford.

They now sit just one point off fourth-placed Liverpool and two points behind second spot after 25 games.

And Mata, who grabbed the opener against Watford, noted in his blog that Man United are heading in the right direction under Mourinho.

“We’re heading into mid-February and into the most decisive part of the season, when you can start to foresee whether a certain team is likely to get to their goals or not,” he said.

“In our case, I feel that the team is approaching the last few months of the season on the same wavelength. Our win against Watford, the third consecutive game without conceding a goal, shows that the team is feeling good, it’s united, motivated and looking forward to carry on.

“We are already in the second half of the season and the full squad is convinced that, if we keep the same way, we can get many more victories until the end of the season.

“The win against Watford was really deserved. All due respect to our opponent, I think we deserved the three points, and I had an extra reason for joy because I was lucky to open the score.

“It was a nice collective play that I was able to finish with my left foot while my right boot was coming off. When I run to celebrate the goal with my team-mates the boot was already off… so I just took it and threw it in the air.

“You don’t really know what you’re doing when you score… Anyway, I read that my celebration had been premeditated, but it wasn’t, although I’m sure my friends from Adidas did like it ;-).

“The most important thing is that the team enjoyed, especially in the first half, and that it turned into good football, with several chances to score and, this time, also a good result.”

Make no mistake, the next 13 games will be explosive. Only in the Premier League could five teams approach the crescendo of the season with just two points between them, and Mourinho’s men are finding their stride at exactly the right time.

United may still be in sixth, but Mourinho will know that, over the next two months, they have an excellent chance to creep into the top four. The likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool will all face one another over this period, whilst United’s next ‘big’ game comes during mid-April – a perfect opportunity to subtly rise up the table during the latter stages of the season.

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