Juan Mata has said that Manchester United’s derby defeat was “painful” but there is “no time for mourning.”
Mata, 28, had started United’s first three Premier League games of the season but was an unused substitute in the 2-1 defeat against Manchester City on Saturday.
Mata and Anthony Martial were replaced by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard — but manager Jose Mourinho ended up substituting both those men at half-time — and the Spaniard is now keen to look forward.
“We have suffered the first defeat of the season and, after the initial disappointment, I think there is no time for mourning,” Mata said. “On the contrary, it’s time to analyse the aspects of our game that we need to improve, and carry on with hope and motivation. It was an important game, but let’s be realistic, the season has just started and there is still a long way to go.
“Obviously, the result was painful for us, both for the fans and for the team. Losing a derby is always something tough to take, but I’m sure there are many good moments for us to enjoy in the next few months.”
The Spaniard added that, while the derby had cost United three points, “it wasn’t a final or anything like that” and that spirits needed to stay high ahead of United’s opening Europa League game against Feyenoord.
Mata added: “They have one European Cup in their trophy cabinet [1969-70] and they are having a great start of the season, with five wins in five league games. It’s going to be a very demanding debut in this competition.”
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