Juan Mata has admitted the Manchester United dressing room is frustrated after they suffered another "unexpected disappointment" on Sunday (18 September) as Watford inflicted them their third shock in a week with a 3-1 defeat at Vicarage Road. Yet, the Spaniard has urged his teammates to move on from the disappointment as they have a League trip to Northampton Town on Wednesday night before crucial Premier League home encounter with Leicester City.
Etienne Capoue's gave Watford a deserved lead in the 34th minute of the game following a weak start from United. Yet, Marcus Rashford gave some hope Jose Mourinho's side in the second part after netting the equaliser for his side.
Mata, who came on just before the draw, believes that the Red Devils then looked ready to end the game on a high but, instead, two late goals from substitute Camilo Zuñiga and Troy Deeney gave Watford three points.
"Today, I believe there's no need to start by describing how frustrated we feel in the team after losing at Watford. To be honest, after the 1-1 we really thought we were going to win the game," the former Chelsea playmaker wrote in his weekly blog.
"We had scored and we were playing near Watford's box. However, it was precisely in that good moment that they scored again and since then until the final whistle they were in better control of the situation, and we lost the three points. It was an unexpected disappointment."
It was the third defeat in a week for United following their previous blows against Manchester City and Feyenoord in the Europa League. Yet, Mata said that is "not time for mourning" but to react in the coming games against the Cobblers and the Premier League holders.
"As I always say, one of the best things of football is that the game is testing you all the time. A win doesn't last too long, and it happens the same way with a defeat: you have the chance to make it up soon afterwards. Two more games this week will give us the opportunity to show on the pitch our pride and skills. There's no time for mourning. We must react," the Spaniard added.
Mata admits that there is no excuse for United to beat the League One side in order to stop their bad run. Yet, he added that the coming Premier League games against Leicester will eventually be their real test to prove the doubters wrong and give the fans reasons to believe.
"First of all, we visit Northampton Town in the EFL Cup, in our first game of the season in this competition. We are the favourites in this game and we have to deliver, all due respect to the opponent because, despite being in League One, Northampton Town has already knocked out a Premier League side like West Brom. I'm sure the stadium will be packed and they will try to make things difficult for us," Mata admitted.
"And next weekend we are back to Premier League, this time in Old Trafford against Leicester. Playing a nice game against the current champions would be the best signal that we could send to our supporters. In order to do so, we have to improve and work hard in every sense. I believe this team is capable of doing great things this season. That's how I feel. And I also want to remind you that we are still in September. There's plenty of time ahead to give our best, enjoy on the pitch and make the fans enjoy too. It's normal to feel disappointed right now, but there's still a long way to go."