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Mata: Don't write us off

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Manchester United boss David Moyes. Picture credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Manchester United boss David Moyes. Picture credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Manchester United boss David Moyes. Picture credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

JUAN MATA has insisted if any club can rescue their season from its present gloomy state it is Manchester United.

Mata was unveiled by United yesterday and will make his debut in the Premier League encounter with Cardiff at Old Trafford tonight.

Now 14 points behind leaders Arsenal, the defence of their title seems to be over.

But, fresh from his club record £37.1million switch from Chelsea, Mata refused to write off the Red Devils hopes of retaining their crown.

"If another club

was in this position, it would be very difficult for them to come back and take first in the league," said the Spain midfielder.

"This club can do it. This club is used to fighting to the end. This is the real image I have of Manchester United; always trying to win every title and always coming back from difficult moments."

Mata's arrival has coincided with the return to fitness of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Marouane Fellaini, which gives United a far stronger look than has been evident over the past few weeks.

Mata is particularly looking forward to linking up with Rooney, who is talking to the club about a lucrative contract extension.

"He is one of the best players in the history of this country," said Mata.

"He is unbelievable. He is a striker who can score, can assist and can come to the midfield to take the ball and move.

"I will enjoy playing alongside him."

After taking time to assess the squad left behind by Alex Ferguson, Moyes has confirmed his rebuilding plans have only just begun.

Anderson has already joined Fiorentina on loan, while Wilfried Zaha and defender Fabio will spend the rest of the season at Cardiff.

Moyes scoffed at suggestions star youngster Adnan Januzaj might be tempted by interest from Paris St Germain, "you have been reading too much speculation", said the Scot.

But a clear-out is certainly underway, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Javier Hernandez, Alexander Buttner, Nani and Ashley Young all sweating on their futures.

For Moyes is not willing to preside over this season's failings much longer.

"I am not going to accept it," said Moyes. "I am disappointed we are not in a much stronger position. I am disappointed with how we have played.

"I, ultimately, take the wrap for that.

"But what I will do is make it right. I am going to get better players in.

"Unfortunately, I don't think there will be more in January. But it will change."

It is impossible to see Rio Ferdinand's contract being renewed given his recent lack of games, while the futures of skipper Nemanja Vidic and full-back Patrice Evra are also in the balance.

With Alexander Buttner, Nani, Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez among those who also have questions marks hanging over them, the Moyes revolution is very much under way.

OPPORTUNITY

"I have given every player the opportunity to play and show what they can do," he said.

"We have had a pretty good chance to have a look at it.

"The players have to perform. If they want to be here and making sure they have a jersey, they have to show it in the games."

The strength of Moyes' words should meet with the approval of Wayne Rooney, who has indicated the potential for signing a contract extension but – like Mata presumably – will want clear signs United are intent on returning to their former status.

Moyes was not prepared to discuss Rooney, stating simply: "I've left that to Ed (Woodward) and Wayne and his advisors. We'll give you an update at the right time."

For now, he is just happy to bring in some much-needed quality.

"I got wind a month or two ago it could be a possibility. We went after it right away, but I never believed we would pull it off," said Moyes.


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