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Out-of-favour Mata grateful for support

28 September 2013 04:04

Out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has thanked the club's supporters and his team-mates for their support as he struggles for games.

Mata has barely played this season despite winning Chelsea's player of the year award over the past two campaigns, with his new manager Jose Mourinho having explained publicly that he wants more out of the Spanish midfielder.

Mourinho believes Brazilian midfielder Oscar is Chelsea's best option in behind the lead striker, while the Portuguese tactician wants Mata to play as a winger and work harder defensively.

Mata has started just two of Chelsea's five English Premier League matches so far this season and, while he maintains he has no problems with Mourinho, the 25-year-old playmaker has thanked all those who have backed him to get through his tough period.

"It is nice to feel the people are behind you and supporting you," Mata said.

"I feel really loved, by my team-mates, by the club, by the supporters.

"In the dressing room we are friends, all of them they are speaking to me, 'be patient, be calm, we know how good you are'.

"That is very important to me."

Mata maintained he is on board with Mourinho's desire to see him move involved defensively.

"My dad always said to me, 'if you are left-footed, improve with your right'," Mata said.

"I have to improve defensively too.

"To be the perfect player is very, very difficult.

"If you ask me last season if it was the perfect season, it was the best in my career but I could still have done better.

"I think Jose can help me. I think he's a manager who analyses everything, not just in our team but in the opposition."

The former Valencia midfielder added he remains hopeful he will play in Chelsea's Premier League clash with London rivals Tottenham on Saturday.

"I can't wait to play, I can't wait," Mata said.

"I'm looking forward to play."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 4 +9 12
2 4 +3 10
3 4 +3 9
4 4 +5 7
5 4 +3 7

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