Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata insists he has not been affected by criticism from the media in the wake of last week’s shock defeat to Midtjylland.
Mata’s weak challenge allowed Ebere Paul Onuachu to fire home the winner for the Danish champions in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
The Spain international responded with a goalscoring performance in the 3-0 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury Town on Monday, but has stressed that the result itself was a bigger burden to bear than the response in the press.
“I know that we have to improve our game level in terms of how we played in Denmark. We have to play better and adapt to their team better,” he said on Wednesday.
“No-one better than us as players knows how we felt in the game and whether we’ve done good or bad. I was very sad and frustrated because of the game, because of the result and because of our away fans – but not because of the media criticism.”
Mata, who won the Europa League in 2013 with Chelsea, admits that United are determined to win the trophy this season in order to secure the resulting qualifying place for the Champions League.
“Hopefully we can go as far as we can and lift the trophy because it has a double meaning for us,” he said. “It has the meaning of winning the Europa League for the first time for this club and as well it gives the chance to play in the Champions League.”
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