• Premier League

Mata: I'm not a winger

ESPN staff
March 10, 2014
Moyes: My players' attitudes have changed completely

Juan Mata wants to play in the No.10 role for Manchester United and does not see himself as the winger manager David Moyes is using him as.

The club's record signing has made six appearances since completing his £37.1 million move from Chelsea in January.

But although his debut came in a central role just behind main striker Robin van Persie, his last five games have all come on the flanks.

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"Right now I am playing on the right but to honest I don't see myself as a proper winger," Mata told BT Sport

"I love to play between the lines as a No.10, come inside, that is where I feel comfortable to play; to keep in touch with the ball because I love to play in possession and with the ball."

Mata generally operated as No.10 last season, when he was named Chelsea's player of the year, but lost that position to Oscar this season before moving to Old Trafford.

The presence of star forwards Van Persie and Wayne Rooney at United means Moyes is overloaded with players who enjoy operating in the role, which is similar to the position Jose Mourinho was in at Chelsea before the manager agreed to sell Mata.

Moyes has not picked the Spaniard in a central role since his bow against Cardiff but Mata accepts he faces stiff competition at United.

"When we talk about them, we are talking about two of the best strikers in the world," Mata said. "Wayne is one of the best in the history of England, for sure, and Robin is the captain of Holland, so it is an honour for me to try and assist them because almost every chance you create is a goal."

Mata said the size of United means that he is playing under a pressure he welcomes.

He explained: "When you see this club [from the] outside as a massive club, an enormous club and when you are in and you can feel everything that is happening inside, the repercussions around the world and the amount of fans.

"They expect you to win every game but it is good to have that pressure because that means you are playing at the highest level."

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