Mata focused on ‘crucial month’

Manchester United’s record signing Juan Mata believes that this month’s run of crucial fixtures will define the club’s season, according to the Mirror.

The reigning Premier League champions, who had no game over the weekend, will have the chance to reclaim sixth when they take on West Bromwich Albion on Saturday with Everton facing Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter finals.

They then host fierce rivals Liverpool before the second leg of their Champions League last sixteen tie with Olympiakos, a trip to West Ham United and the Manchester derby at Old Trafford, all in the space on nine days before ending the month at Villa Park.

In a blog on their official website, Mata has insisted that the club are determined to win every match, in a bid to salvage something from a disappointing first campaign under David Moyes.

Meanwhile, United chances of competing in Europe next season were given a boost yesterday, as neighbours Manchester City triumphed in the Capital One Cup final against Sunderland.

With City likely to finish in the top four, thus enabling them to participate in next seasons Champions League, the Europa League place awarded to them for winning the League Cup would be handed to whoever finishes sixth in the Premier League.