Mata: United owe fans
Published 05/05/2014 | 15:57
Juan Mata feels Manchester United's players owe supporters a much better performance against Hull than Saturday's dismal 1-0 defeat at home to Sunderland.
The shock loss was United's seventh on their own patch in what has been a dire year and the Spaniard wants to see an improvement against the Tigers.
"I was unhappy with the result, but the good thing is that on Tuesday we play again in Old Trafford," United's club-record signing wrote on his blog.
"It's our last game at home this season and we want to have a decent farewell in front of our fans, with a good game and a victory.
"They have given us remarkable support throughout the last year and that shows the greatness of the club and the loyalty of our fans in the good and, in particular, the bad moments."
The Hull game will be a significant one for a number of reasons.
Nemanja Vidic will play his final game at Old Trafford. For Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra - both of whom are out of contract this summer - it could be their last home game too.
And it may well be the last time United fans get a glimpse of Ryan Giggs for a while as he has not been assured that he will figure in Louis van Gaal's plans - either as a player or coach. The interim boss did not rule out naming himself in the matchday squad when quizzed on the matter at the weekend.
Striker Wayne Rooney could return after missing the Sunderland defeat due to illness and a tight groin.
Meanwhile, Hull manager Steve Bruce believes the club's achievements this season represent "a dream come true" for supporters.
The Tigers had a weekend of mixed emotions, turning one of the sloppiest performances of the season in a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa while seeing results elsewhere fall perfectly.
Everton's defeat to Manchester City ensured that Hull's FA Cup final appearance would guarantee a place in Europe next season, regardless of the result, before Norwich's draw at Chelsea confirmed their mathematical safety from relegation.
For a side whose only stated ambition upon their return to the top flight was 17th place and another year of Premier League football, it represents a season that defied all expectations.
Bruce, who now plans to assess some of his fringe players during Tuesday's trip to Manchester United, said: "It's satisfaction, it's relief...to be safe with two games to go I didn't think would be possible at the start of the season.
"I honestly thought over the months we'd be in a relegation fight but if we're being totally honest we haven't really been involved at all, which is a testament to the players.
"It's just remarkable...to stay in the Premier League, get to the FA Cup final and get into Europe is one hell of an achievement for everyone concerned.
"It's been a fantastic journey and it's the icing on the cake for the club itself. The supporters must be thinking all their dreams have come true."
Bruce is set to ring the changes for the trip a nd will take the chance to give the likes of Stephen Quinn, George Boyd, Robert Koren, Yannick Sagbo and Matty Fryatt some much-needed game time.
Defender James Chester (hamstring), Sone Aluko (ankle), Allan McGregor (ribs/kidney), Robbie Brady (groin) and Paul McShane (ankle) are all out.