Juan Mata: People Enjoy It When Manchester United Don't Win

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2019

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Juan Mata of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Molineux on August 19, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Juan Mata has said there are many people "enjoying it when Manchester United don't win," so the club's players and fans must "stick together."

The Red Devils have made a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign despite their opening-weekend 4-0 victory over Chelsea.

They have since drawn with Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton and lost at home to Crystal Palace, and their recent record in the English top flight now stands at just three wins in their last 13 across this season and last.

Ahead of Saturday's Old Trafford meeting with Leicester City, Mata said he understands that Red Devils fans will not have been happy with recent results, per the United Review (h/t Adam Bath of ManUtd.com):

"My message [to fans] is always being grateful for what they give us. I understand their frustration when we don't get the results they deserve, so I feel sorry for that. But what I can do, individually, and what we can do, as a team, is give our best. Fans recognise that.

"Over results, what they value is that a player gives everything and tries as much as he can, and that's what I do and what my team-mates do. If we want to get our objectives, we need to stick together—managers, players and fans—because there's many people on the outside enjoying it when Manchester United don't win. It's key for us to stick together as a whole."

United are already five points behind defending champions Manchester City and seven back from league leaders Liverpool:

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Any hopes that they may challenge for the title this season, which were boosted by the victory over Chelsea, have already been effectively dashed after recent results.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a brilliant start to his United tenure back in December, but he could find himself under pressure if his side fail to win again on Saturday:

The key for United this season is to keep in touch with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who are likely to again be their competitors for the remaining top-four spots behind Liverpool and City. 

However, there could be other potential contenders for next season's UEFA Champions League spots, and Leicester will likely be one of them.

They have made a fine start to the season with two wins and two draws, and the Foxes will visit Old Trafford with every intention of taking all three points.

United's recent form against Leicester at Old Trafford is good, having won their last three meetings. But a run of just one win at home in their last five matches makes for much worse reading for United fans.  

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