Mata tells United fans to expect 'new and exciting era' under Ten Hag
Juan Mata insists Manchester United fans can ‘look forward to a new and exciting era’ under Erik ten Hag, as bit-part midfielder admits he shares supporters’ ‘frustration’ at poor season
- Juan Mata has reflected on a forgettable Premier League season for Man United
- The out-of-contract veteran believes new coach Erik ten Hag can revive the club
- Mata admits he would be frustrated as a fan and has told the squad to show pride
- United host Brentford in their home finale before Ten Hag joins from Ajax in July
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata wants Erik ten Hag to inspire a ‘big change’ in results and has predicted an exciting future for the club when the Ajax boss takes over on July 1.
Veteran Mata admits he can understand how United fans feel after an underwhelming season that has left the 13-time Premier League champions battling for Europa League qualification – and the long-serving playmaker believes Ten Hag could transform their predicament.
Mata told United’s official website: ‘I understand the fans’ frustration after this season because I would also be frustrated.
Erik ten Hag is closing in on a third Eredivise title with Ajax and the Manchester United hotseat
Juan Mata (centre) is part of a United squad who will end a misfiring season without a trophy
‘But I also think there is an an exciting future ahead with a new era, with a new manager. Hopefully it is going to be a big change in terms of results and fans will be happy.’
Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has struggled to revive United’s fortunes following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November in response to a poor start to the season.
United’s nervy 3-2 win at home to relegation-haunted Norwich on April 16 is their only victory in their last seven games in all competitions, including defeats to Liverpool, Arsenal and Everton and a Champions League round of 16 exit against Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford.
Mata has seen David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho make managerial exits since he joined the club from Chelsea for £37.1 million in January 2014 – arriving the season after Sir Alex Ferguson won United’s last Premier League title.
Mata believes Dutchman Ten Hag could succeed where the likes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer failed
The former Spain international said: ‘Every single game that you play for this club, you can play better or worse.
‘You can have better or worse results but, as a fan, the thing I would like to see is players giving everything and fighting together and representing the club the best we can… it is a question of pride and giving to the club what it deserves from us.’
Ten Hag, who has guided the Amsterdammers four points clear of PSV at the top of the Dutch top flight, faces the daunting task of making the biggest spenders in English football contenders again.
United have three games of their season remaining and are 25 points behind arch-rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Brentford visit United in Rangnick’s final home match in temporary charge on May 2, followed by potentially tricky trips to Brighton and Crystal Palace.
Mata, who is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with a return to Spain, said: ‘Whenever you step onto that pitch, it’s always special.
‘Hopefully we can have a good game and we can end this season at home on a positive note – because that’s what the fans deserve.’
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