Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final replay against West Ham is the perfect opportunity to bounce back from the damaging defeat at Tottenham, according to Juan Mata.
United were among the biggest losers in the Premier League at the weekend, as a six-minute flurry saw Louis van Gaal’s men downed 3-0 by title-chasing Spurs on Sunday, seriously denting their hopes of a top-four finish.
It left “a particularly bitter taste” for Mata but his focus now is on United’s return to the capital on Wednesday, when they face West Ham looking to progress to Wembley and keep their chances of silverware alive.
“Conceding three goals in just seven minutes is tough to take for everyone, especially when you feel that you were doing a few good things before that moment,” Mata wrote on Kicca.
“I think it’s fair to say that during the fist half the game was even. We had a good start and they pushed in the last few minutes before the break.
“However, the first goal was very painful for us and the opponent took advantage of it.
“I think it’s good to play the next game as soon as possible, on Wednesday, because it allows the team to move on from White Hart Lane and focus completely on the match against West Ham.
“It’s actually one of the most important games of the season and we can’t afford to feel sad or upset when preparing for it.
“On the contrary, we must be aware that in the Boleyn Ground we have a fantastic opportunity to make it to Wembley and give our fans what they deserve: a reason for joy this season.”
Fellow United midfielder Michael Carrick echoed those sentiments as he prepares to travel to another of his former clubs.
“We are looking forward to Wednesday now and that has got to be the focus,” he told MUTV.
“We have got to take what we can from today and move on to a massive game.
“We all know what that means and it is make or break on the night. It is one we can look forward to and hopefully we can come away with the win and get into the next round.”