Man United aware of FA Cup chance, says Juan Mata
Juan Mata warns Manchester United not to underestimate Preston North End
Juan Mata says Manchester United have a great chance to win the FA Cup ahead of their fifth-round clash at Preston North End on Monday night.
The Red Devils are third in the Premier League table but are 12 points behind current leaders Chelsea in the race to win the top-flight crown.
They are not living in the past: they are in a good position in the League 1 and I’m sure they want to add to his long history a great performance against Manchester United
The FA Cup represents United’s best chance of securing some silverware in Louis van Gaal’s first season at Old Trafford, particularly after the exits of Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
But Mata warned United not to underestimate one of English football’s most history-laden clubs ahead of their clash at Deepdale.
“That respect for our rivals must be the same tonight against Preston if we want to make it to the last eight of the FA Cup,” Mata wrote in his blog, One Hour Behind.
“All of us in the club are very aware of the good chance we have to achieve something great in this competition, and we will try to lift the trophy. But we must go step by step and focus only on this round.”
Mata, 26, revealed that he has been doing his homework about Simon Grayson’s Preston side ahead of their enthralling FA Cup tie.
“I have been reading a bit about tonight’s rival and I have seen that Preston North End was one of the founder members of the English League, and they even got to win it without a single defeat,” Mata added.
“We play at Deepdale Stadium, which is considered the world’s oldest stadium in professional football. It is said to have hosted its first game in 1875… Definitely this is a team who also brings that historic touch that I like about English football.
“However, they are not living in the past: they are in a good position in the League 1 and I’m sure they want to add to his long history a great performance against Manchester United.”
The Spain international has scored five goals and has made three assists in 20 Premier League appearances this season.
Mata scored against Cambridge United in a 3-0 victory over the League Two side at Old Trafford in FA Cup fourth round.