The Spaniard is determined to return to the first team at Stamford Bridge.
It’s been a difficult season for Juan Mata at Chelsea since the return of Jose Mourinho as manager, but the attacking midfielder is trying to remain positive.
The 25-year-old has started just 10 matches for the Blues this season and has made only five appearances in the Premier League.
This is because Mourinho wants to build the team around Oscar in the No.10 role behind the striker – the preferred position of Mata – and therefore opportunities for the Spaniard have been limited.
Despite this the midfielder is determined to fight for a place and admits the adoration of the fans is making the Spain international strive for success at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s a new thing, and I’m just trying to find the positive things in a hard moment,” Mata told talkSPORT.
“I always try to be a better player, no matter the manager that I have, so that’s what I’m doing right now – just trying to be better.
“To be honest, I feel really loved by the fans.
“That’s what makes me feel strong, and I try to play my best because of them.”
Many find Mourinho’s marginalisation of the midfield ace odd, including the supporters of the club who have seen Mata named player of the season for the past two years.
Both men are held in high regard by the faithful at the Bridge, but with the World Cup winner considered to be one of the best players on the planet, being a substitute won’t cut it for too much longer.
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