Juan Mata's warning message to teammates ahead of Europa League clash
Juan Mata's warning message to teammates ahead of Europa League clash
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Juan Mata's warning message to teammates ahead of Europa League clash

Manchester United ace Juan Mata has warned his teammates that they should respect all teams and stay fully focused ahead of their European assignment. 

The Red Devils will travel to face Club Club Brugge on Thursday night in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League last-32 tie. 

United finished top of their group to earn a spot in the last-32, while their opponents dropped out of the Champions League after finishing third. 

They were impressive through the group stages, but the presence of two European heavyweights in Real Madrid and PSG meant their chances of progression were close to none.

They, however, memorably earn a 2-2 draw away to Real Madrid in a match they could have won, and for this reason, Mata thinks they are a formidable side. 

“They’re a good Belgium team and I remember when they played in the Champions League, so they’re a team that has good experience in European competitions and they won’t be afraid of playing against us,” Mata said as quoted by the club's official website.  

“We’ll try to go through and we’ll remember the good memories we have from the Europa League and Stockholm in the final against Ajax when we won [in 2017]. It’s a really nice competition to win,” he added. 

The Spaniard further feels their record in Europe should be a source of encouragement but warned that any slight mistake can cost them dearly.

“So it’s about being focused on what you have to do, to play at your best level and to try to grow into the competition. It’s different than the Premier League, you can lose a game but you still have a chance to come back and win more points.

“In the Europa League, if you have a bad day you can be out of the competition, so you have to be really 100 percent focused in every game.” he went on.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will welcome the Belgium side on the 27th of February for the return leg.

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