Mata: It will take time


The Dutch coach has tried a new-look 3-5-2 formation in the Red Devil’s three preseason friendlies thus far, and is yet to suffer defeat against tough opposition, including LA Galaxy, Roma and Inter Milan.

And Spanish star Mata feels the new system is working well for his side, and is particularly pleased with his role just behind United’s two frontmen.

“The manager’s new system could be very good for us,” the 26-year-old told the club’s official website.

“Obviously we need to train more and improve but I think it’s very difficult for opponents when we play like this.

“For me personally, playing behind two strikers is a great position to help me perform at my best level.”

However, Mata acknowledged that noticeable change at Old Trafford would take time, as warned by the new coach on his arrival.

“The first thing the manager told us in pre-season training was that the first three months of this season would be hard, because we had to change our mind-sets and understand what he was trying to do, and there was a new system as well,” he said.

“It will take time to fully adapt but, in the meantime, we are doing our best."

The former Chelsea player said that training under van Gaal has been enjoyable though, as the players are able to take on board a lot from the veteran tactician.

“We’re enjoying training and the most important thing is that we are learning from him, because he is a very experienced coach,” Mata said.

United’s final group stage game of the friendly International Champions Cup tournament will take place on Saturday, 2 August where they face reigning European champions Real Madrid.