Tuesday 23 October 2018

Juan Mata tells Manchester United to 'look at the bigger picture'

Manchester United's Juan Mata. Photo: PA
Manchester United's Juan Mata. Photo: PA

Mark Critchley

Juan Mata has called on Manchester United to "look at the bigger picture" and remember there is a long way to go in this season's title race.

Second-placed United meet league leaders Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday in the season's first Manchester derby, with City eight points clear at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola's side can claim their 14th consecutive Premier League win with victory this weekend, beating a record set by Arsenal's 2001-'02 and Chelsea's 2016/'17 sides.

City will remain title favourites even if they suffer their first defeat of the season, but Mata has called on United to retain a sense of perspective.

"We need to look at the bigger picture. We have just started December and December is a crucial month with a lot of games," the Spaniard said. "If we arrive in a position where we want to be in February or March then we can talk about if we won on Saturday and they won on Sunday.

"It's not the best feeling but we think about the bigger picture and for us we have to keep up the pace and keep winning and winning. It's difficult for everyone to win every single game so we are waiting for that."

City have only dropped two points from a possible 45 so far this season, drawing 1-1 with Everton at the Etihad in late August. Mata believes another team will take points away from them soon, even if Jose Mourinho's United fail to do so on Sunday.

"It's very difficult [to keep winning], especially in the Premier League," he added. "When you play Watford, Stoke, West Ham away or whatever it's very difficult to win every single game and we need to be ready if they drop points."

© Independent News Service

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