Juan Mata says Manchester United’s players do not have time to mourn their surprise defeat to Watford and has called for a reaction against Northampton Town and Leicester City.
United conceded twice late on to lose 3-1 at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Sunday, marking the first time since 2001-02 that Jose Mourinho has lost three successive matches in a single season.
Spain international Mata, writing in a blog on the United website, has sought to put a positive spin on the team’s difficult situation.
“As I always say, one of the best things of football is that the game is testing you all the time,” he said.
“A win doesn’t last too long, and it happens the same way with a defeat – you have the chance to make it up soon afterwards. Two more games this week will give us the opportunity to show on the pitch our pride and skills. There’s no time for mourning. We must react.”
As they seek to respond to recent disappointments, United are away to third-tier opposition on Wednesday followed by a challenging assignment at home to title-holders Leicester on Saturday.
“First of all, we visit Northampton Town in the EFL Cup, in our first game of the season in this competition,” Mata said.
“We are the favourites in this game and we have to deliver, with all due respect to the opponent because, despite being in League One, Northampton Town has already knocked out a Premier League side like West Brom.
“I’m sure the stadium will be packed and they will try to make things difficult for us.
“And next weekend we are back to the Premier League, this time at Old Trafford against Leicester. Playing a nice game against the current champions would be the best signal that we could send to our supporters. In order to do so, we have to improve and work hard in every sense.
“I believe this team is capable of doing great things this season.”