Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has apologised to the club’s fans for his side’s poor performances this season.
David Moyes’ side headed into Saturday’s clash against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on the back of a 3-0 derby defeat to Manchester City at home, having also lost to Liverpool by the same margin in front of their own supporters earlier this month.
Mata, who joined United from Chelsea for a club-record £37.1million in January, has now issued an apology to the fans and has thanked them for their support.
“It (the Villa match) is massive,” the 25-year-old told The Mirror. “For us, it is very important to have our confidence back and it is also very important to show the crowd, to show the fans, that we are giving them what they deserve.
“They deserve more than they are getting. They deserve great football, they deserve to see wins, so we will try to do that – to win and to do that playing great football. But it is going to be tough because no game is easy these days.
“The fans at Old Trafford have been amazing. For me, walking back to the tunnel after losing 3-0 against Liverpool and Manchester City, feeling really disappointed, to see them supporting us, and singing and clapping, it’s amazing.
“I feel sorry for them and the only thing I want to do is keep playing and keep trying my best to show that we can and have to do better. As a player, when you see the supporters being like this, you are nothing but grateful and you have to carry on and give 100%. You can play better or worse, but you must always give 100%.”
It is one thing offering up words of condolence in the media, but far better to do your talking on the pitch, and soon after that interview was published, Mata scored his first goal since his club-record signing, helping United to a 4-1 victory.
And while this season is being touted by many as a write-off for United, who are already guaranteed of their worst points total in the Premier League era, they could salvage some pride as they are still in the Champions League, having staged a comeback against Olympiacos in the last 16.
The only problem is that to get to the semi-finals, United would have to get the better of Bayern Munich. No easy feat, that!
Where will Manchester United finish in the Premier League this season?