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Manchester United cannot think of Wembley yet – Mata

Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata insists he is not allowing dreams of Wembley to enter his mind after scoring in the 3-1 FA Cup win over Derby County on Friday.

Wayne Rooney and Daley Blind also scored either side of George Thorne’s equaliser as the visitors moved into the fifth round and eased the immediate pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.

But Mata, who scored for the first time in 15 matches, urged his team-mates not to start thinking ahead even though United have not won the competition since 2004.

Asked about the away fans singing of Wembley, the 27-year-old told BBC Sport: “We are just thinking step by step. 

“I know it has been a few years since the last time Manchester United has won it but I think we have to focus on each round. Here we did our job and we are looking forward to the next game.

“It was really important for us. It is not easy to come here to Derby. Even though they are not in the Premier League they are a good team, they press, they are physically very strong and I think we did a good job. 

“We came here to play football, we played much quicker than in the last games and I think that scoring three goals and having even more chances to score was, at the end of the day, a very good performance.”

Blind was also impressed with United’s display and revealed what drove him to be in the penalty area to score the crucial second goal despite playing at centre-back.

He said: “I passed the ball to Juan and thought I am this close to the goal now, I will make a move forward. 

“When I was in the box I was just thinking maybe I should go to the first post where the striker normally [is] and Jesse [Lingard] gave the perfect ball and I touched it once, it was a good goal.”

The Netherlands international was reluctant to discuss what the victory meant for under-fire Van Gaal.

“We just came over here to focus on this important game and we did what we needed to do – winning and going to the next round,” he said.

Fri 29 Jan, 2016
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