MATA: TOUGH DEFEAT

Juan Mata believes our wastefulness in front of goal, particularly in the first half, was to blame for Saturday’s defeat at West Ham United.

The Spaniard finished off a flowing move after good work by Victor Moses and Fernando Torres to give us the lead early in the game, and by half-time we should have been out of sight as chance after chance went begging.

Carlton Cole equalised for the Hammers just after the hour, and as we struggled to get a foothold back in the game, two late strikes sent us crashing to our third league defeat of the season.

‘It was a bad second half, in the first half we had chances to score, we were winning and we were on top of them,’┬áMata said.

‘In the second half they scored, and then had some chances in the final minutes, so it was a very tough defeat.

‘In the first half we were playing really well and at half-time we were confident we would win the game.

‘As everybody saw, the second half performance wasn’t as good as the first, we conceded three goals and couldn’t score any more.’

Since our last league win, which came against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane back in October, we have now picked up only four points from a possible 21.

‘We have to improve,’ said Mata. ‘The games are always 90 minutes or 95 minutes, we knew they would look for the long balls and to win the second balls and that’s how they scored their second goal.

‘In the last few weeks we’ve been dropping down and losing points, so we need to change because if we want to win the Premier League it’s important that we improve.’

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