Manchester United’s record signing Juan Mata says he is confident he can help the Red Devils will get back to winning ways next season.
Mata, 26, admitted Manchester United players did not do their supporters justice during a calamitous season.
The Reds were a shadow of the team that claimed their 20th Premier League crown the previous year, exhibiting the worst defence of a title defence since Blackburn Rovers in 1995-96, finishing seventh.
Despite the club paying out over £60million on players this season – including a club-record £37.1million on Juan Mata – the Spaniard conceded what the squad offered on the pitch was simply not good enough.
“Things have been difficult, it is true,” he said. “We did not get the results this club deserves and the supporters deserve.
“Since I was a kid, Manchester United were fighting for the Champions League and Premier League.
“We need to bring that back. That is very important.”
While Mata endured a short settling in period, he ended the season having endeared himself to the Old Trafford faithful, contributing six goals and five assists in 15 appearances.
The Spaniard believes the team’s sub-par performances were in part down to the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, and believes the players will be better adjusted for the next campaign.
“The club is living a transitional moment after many years with Sir Alex Ferguson in charge,” said the 26-year-old. “This was the first season with a new manager [David Moyes].
“We can be Manchester United again, as the club was in the last few years, winning many Premier League titles. The belief in the dressing room is that we can again.”
Following the sacking of David Moyes after just ten months, United are set for another period of transition with the imminent appointment of Holland manager Louis van Gaal, which is expected to be announced next week.
Van Gaal is reported to have already drawn up a list of potential transfer targets, though it appears the club may have to curb their spending after losing almost £50million in revenue.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League contributed a drop of £35million for next season in addition to a broadcasting revenue loss of £8.4million compared to 2012-13, while Moyes’ departure cost a further £6.5million.
But in spite of the drop in income, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward confirmed the Reds will conduct a summer outlay as they try to break back into the top four.
“The club’s expectations – and you will see this reflected in the transfer market and what we’ve done recently from a managerial perspective – our aim absolutely is to get back into it,” he said.
Woodward rightfully did not pull any punches when assessing United’s pitiful defence of their title under Moyes, before declaring that United will come back fighting in 2014-15.
“We finished a very disappointing seventh,” he said.
“Be assured that everyone at the club is working hard to make sure that our performances on the pitch next season will be what we and our fans expect of Manchester United.”
Image courtesy of Jason Cairnduff.