Juan Mata believes Manchester United can be happy with their efforts during the pre-season tour of the US so far, per the club’s official website.
The Red Devils have won three out of three of their preparation games, the most recent an encouraging 2-0 win over Premier League rivals Manchester City, but José Mourinho’s men are now preparing for another challenge as they are set to face Real Madrid on Sunday.
Mata wants to be ready for Super Cup
The clash with Zinedine Zidane’s team will act as a dress rehearsal for the upcoming European Super Cup tie in Macedonia on August 8, which will be United’s first competitive game of the new season in the traditional match between the previous season's Champions League and Europa League winners.
Mata, himself a product of Los Blancos’ youth system, described Real’s team and previous season as being “fantastic,” Real having also won La Liga as well as the Champions League.
The Spain international admitted that the Super Cup “is in our minds,” but the Red Devils will first have to concentrate on their imminent meeting with the European giants in Santa Clara.
Having beaten City, Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy on the US west coast, the 29-year-old says the tour “has been great,” adding that “we are very happy with those two weeks.”
Winning isn’t everything in pre-season
The former Chelsea midfielder said “it was good work to get fit” and although he agreed that results had obviously been good, he underlined the fact that that was no so important.
Winning does “help” and can “boost the confidence of the team,” says Mata, but it also “does not matter a lot.”
United’s number eight explained that pre-season “is more about getting in shape and practising in the game what we trained in the week,” and in fairness, that seems to have paid off so far on tour.
After facing Real, United will face fellow La Liga heavyweights Barcelona in the final leg of their US tour, as Mata admitted that he and his teammates “have another two big games so we are looking forward to them.”