Mata believes Manchester United can replicate Liverpool title challenge next season
Juan Mata has claimed that Manchester United can follow in the example set by Liverpool this season and use their absence from European competition to mount a title challenge next season.
United have suffered a torrid campaign in their first season without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm since the Premier League came into being, dropping from their position as champions last season to seventh this year, requiring a dramatic last day swing to overtake Tottenham Hotspur in sixth and qualify for the Europa League.
Mata joined Manchester United from Chelsea in January after falling out with Jose Mourinho and while he accepts that he and United would prefer to be competing in the Champions League, a season without European distractions could prove useful in their bid to re-establish themselves in the title race again next year.
Mata told reporters, “It can definitely be an advantage in the league (not playing in Europe).
“Of course I would rather be playing in the Champions League, but if we take Liverpool as the example – you have a team who fought all the way to the finish without having played in the Champions League.”