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Champions League qualification will be difficult, says Juan Mata

The Manchester United midfielder thinks his side face stiff competition for a highly coveted spot in the top four.

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has said that his side face a fight to return to the Champions League, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Louis Van Gaal’s side are currently fourth in the Premier League table, but face competition from Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and potentially Liverpool for a highly coveted Champions League place.

Now, Spanish midfielder Mata, who has managed to establish himself and make 20 appearances for United this season despite it looking like he would become a spare part under Van Gaal, says the Reds face a fight to finish in the top four.

“It is going to be a fight until the end and not just between two teams, it will be between three, four, five teams, that we are now in a short difference of points,” he said.

“This is our main objective for this season, to play Champions league football again because this club should always play in the Champions League.”

Mata made the move to Old Trafford in a £37.1m switch last January but was cup tied in Europe having played for Chelsea in the competition during the group stages.

He struggled to establish himself or find his top form under former manager David Moyes, but has since improved under Dutchman Van Gaal, despite it looking like he would become surplus to requirements as the new manager spent heavily in the summer.

One of those signings, Ander Herrera, is the player that Mata is currently keeping out of the side, and the Spaniard says he is looking forward to playing more before the end of the season and helping the team with his qualities.

“For me personally I feel very good, I feel very happy and I’m just trying to keep playing as I did and trying to help the team with my qualities,” he added.

“There is a lot of competition in the team, not just for me, so I’m happy that I’ve played a lot of games and I’m looking forward to playing more before the end of the season.”

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