Chelsea’s Juan Mata views Norwich City trip as the perfect way to continue his charm offensive
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Juan Mata views Sunday's return to a happy hunting ground as the perfect way to continue his charm offensive with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
The 25-year-old's long range strike settled last season's corresponding Premier League fixture at Carrow Road and Mata knows a repeat this weekend against the Canaries would underline he can play a big part in the Mourinho masterplan.
Mata has been brought back in from the cold in recent weeks after the demanding Portuguese boss publicly questioned whether the Spanish World Cup winner could adapt to his methods.
'I have to do this (to adapt). I try to do my best in every game and I think I'm doing that,' said Mata. 'I just have to do my best in training and in games. It's important to play with the ball and without the ball, but I'm very happy and looking forward to playing a lot of games throughout the season.
'I try to improve every season, my first and second seasons were fantastic but I want this one to be even better so I will try to improve, score goals, assist and do what I have to do. I'm not the kind of man that gets down. I always believe in myself and train really hard. This is my way to behave, to be positive as much as I can. I have really enjoyed playing for this club in the last two seasons. I know what I can give to the team and I'm just trying to do that.'
Mata believes it is imperative Chelsea build on encouraging displays this week at Tottenham in the Premier League and Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League.
'I'm sure the best is still to come from the team,' he told Chelsea's official site. 'We have a good young squad and we have signed young players this season. We will get even better in the future. The last few games have been good and we are building momentum. I think it's normal that we needed time (to adapt to the new manager), but we are doing that. Now we have to keep going and take advantage of this latest victory, to keep winning.'
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Mata's Spanish compatriot Fernando Torres was suspended for Chelsea's trip to Norfolk after his red card in last weekend's London derby draw against Spurs, but the former Liverpool man now faces up to a month out after suffering a knee injury on Champions League duty in Romania.
'He was so unlucky. He played really well against Tottenham the other day,' said Mata. 'He started against Steaua and was trying to score again to show how good he is, but he got injured. I hope he gets well soon for me, for him and the team because I think he is going to be a very important player for us.'
Mata was influential in the Blues' midweek 4-0 romp against Steaua which put them firmly back in contention for the knockout phase of a competition they won in 2012 following a surprise opening group defeat to Basel at Stamford Bridge.
'We have two games in a row against Schalke and we will try to win all six points,' he said. 'It's going to be difficult. They are top of the group right now, but if we do it we will be in a good position to qualify. We have qualification in our hands. We needed to make up for the last game and we did that. Now the story continues and we have to keep winning game after game and finish top.'