Supporters are ‘most important thing’ says forgotten Spaniard.
Juan Mata has thanked the Chelsea fans for their continued support and insisted the supporters are the ‘most important thing’.
Mata, 26, is enduring his most difficult spell at Stamford Bridge since arriving from Valencia in 2010.
The playmaker has been named the club’s player of the year for the past two seasons but is out of favour under current head-coach Jose Mourinho and has started just three matches this term.
Mourinho says the Spain international must work harder and learn to ‘track back’ and says Brazilian Oscar is his preferred number 10.
Mata, who was left our of the squad for last weekend’s win over Fulham, is again expected to be left out of the XI for Chelsea’s visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday but says the fans support is helping him stay strong.
“That’s what I try to keep in my mind, this support,” said Mata.
“I feel the fans have always been supporting me and I like to play well, to score and to do great things for them, because they’re the most important thing.
“I will always be grateful for that. To be honest, the other day against Basel at Stamford Bridge I got emotional when I went to warm up and all the stands were cheering me.
“It is nice to feel the people are behind you and supporting you.
“I will always be grateful to the Chelsea supporters because they are supporting me. As the professional football player I am, I respect every one of my team-mates, I respect every one of the supporters, every opinion. But I can do only what I have in my hands, what I have in my feet, what I have in my body.
“That’s what I have to do, run as much as I can, play as much as I can, assist and score as much as I can and that’s it.
“At the end of the day I can be calm with myself, as I am.
“You cannot waste your time or your mind thinking about what people are reading or saying.
“I am always thinking about training at my best, I will try to play at my best, as I always do, and that’s my only target.
“It’s what I want — keep going, keep doing what I did with this club for the last two seasons and that’s it.
“For me it’s not difficult to be focused on what I have to do, because this is in my hands. The other things are not.”