Juan Mata says Manchester United will get the chance to reach the Premier League’s “top positions” when rivals inevitably drop points.
The midfielder is on international duty with Spain ahead of their World Cup Qualifier against Macedonia on Saturday, and their friendly against England on Tuesday.
Mata is already looking ahead to improving on United’s start to the Premier League season though, with Jose Mourinho’s side lying sixth in the table and having collected their first win in five top-flight games in their last fixture against Swansea.
United face fourth-placed Arsenal on November 20, following the international break and Mata believes all of United’s Premier League rivals will provide them with an opportunity to make up the ground.
“It’s true that our start to the season didn’t go as we had hoped for, but we are there,” Mata said at Spain’s pre-match press conference.
“The Premier League is a competition in which all the big clubs drop points and we remain hopeful that we can get closer to the top positions.”
Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford had led to reports Mata could have left United in the summer transfer window, but the former Chelsea player insisted there was no rift between the pair at the start of November.
Mata has revealed why he is in a much better place than he was before the season began.
“I want to continue to do the talking on the pitch after a strange summer, with so many things that came out that were false,” he said.
“I’m enjoying myself on the pitch and things are going well for me.
“I’ve had a good month and I want to continue to showcase my talent on the pitch.”
Mata could be in line to take on England at Wembley after being recalled to the Spain squad, having been a regular starter under Mourinho, and he is confident his Premier League form can help prolong his international career.
“I feel privileged each time I come here,” he said. “I feel the same enthusiasm as I felt when I first got here eight years ago.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the most successful generation and the competition is fierce. It’s difficult to get a spot. Now at 28, I’m at a fantastic stage in my career. I still have a lot to give. I hope I can continue to come many more times.
“I hope I can continue to improve and do more things in England.”