Mata benefits from Dubai trip
Published 17/02/2014 | 17:42
Juan Mata says Manchester United's five-day jaunt to Dubai has helped him settle into David Moyes' squad.
With United out of the FA Cup, Moyes decided to take Mata and the rest of his players on a short warm-weather training camp in the Middle East following their 0-0 draw at Arsenal last week.
Mata has made a steady if not spectacular start to life at Old Trafford, setting up Robin van Persie for his goals against Stoke and Fulham.
The Spaniard knows it will take time for him to adapt to United's tactics and personnel, though, and to that end he believes the visit to Dubai has helped him greatly.
"These kind of breaks always help to make the group even stronger and to switch off a bit from the different competitions and the tight schedule," the Spaniard wrote on his personal blog.
"Personally, these days are good for me to settle even more in the team and share these moments with my team-mates and also, obviously, to train hard and get used to the new working patterns after just three weeks in the club.
"These are long days, with training sessions and events with sponsors; we spend a lot of time together."
Moyes' men had a surprise visitor at their training session on Monday in the form of former Argentina striker Diego Maradona.
Mata, Adnan Januzaj, David De Gea, Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Alexander Buttner and Rio Ferdinand all posted pictures of themselves posing with the World Cup winner on Monday morning.
Although Buttner was criticised for posting a picture of himself on the beach during the trip, Mata insists the squad have been working hard during the break.
And the club record signing hopes United will be re-energised by the time they return for the crucial remaining 13 games of the season.
"The club thought a few days of work far from Manchester would be good for us, in order to recharge our batteries with a view to the final stage of the season," Mata said.
"Tomorrow we fly back to Manchester to get ready for our next game in the Premiership and we hope to start a good run of results."
United are seventh in the Barclays Premier League table, some 11 points off the Champions League qualification places.