Juan Mata says his “stats” at Manchester United continue to prove former manager Jose Mourinho wrong over the Spaniard’s work rate.
The 27-year-old playmaker has gone on to establish himself as a key player for United under Van Gaal and he insists that he is happy playing for the Dutchman.
Mata told The Times: “I really value his honesty. When someone does something in training that he really likes, he goes over to hug and kiss them – he really does it. Or he says in front of everyone, ‘You are the best in training, I’m really proud of how you played,’ to set a a good example to others.”
The ex-Valencia midfielder added: “Van Gaal is how you see him in the press conferences, he’s like that with us too.
“He’s honest and straightforward. He believes in his style of training and way of preparing for games. He’s won trophies everywhere he’s been and hopefully this season now we know him better we’ll win something too.
Mata has played a part in 45 per cent of the 25 goals United have scored this season and has already matched his tally of 18 Premier League goals for Chelsea in 26 fewer matches.
Despite being a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, he was moved on by Jose Mourinho midway through the 2013-14 campaign, because of issues over Mata’s work rate.
“I’ve scored as many goals for Manchester United in the Premier League as for Chelsea, but in something like 30 games less.
“In terms of scoring and assisting and I’m quite happy with the states, and stats don’t lie. They are facts,” added Mata