Juan Mata
Juan Mata is looking forward to the new season    Reuters

Juan Mata has admitted Louis van Gaal's new 3-4-1-2 system "is difficult to adapt", but hopes to benefit from it by playing in his favoured number 10 role.

Following his £37m move from Stamford Bridge last January, the Spaniard struggled to replicate his Chelsea form in his first few weeks at Old Trafford as former manager David Moyes used him in a wider role rather than in his preferred position behind the strikers.

It was thought Van Gaal's arrival would force him back to the flank as the new boss normally opts for a 4-3-3 formation without a number 10 but after his successful experience with the for 3-4-1-2 system during the World Cup with the Netherlands he has finally installed the same formation at United.

"I hope it will be (perfect) for me. I feel comfortable in that position (number 10). I can play as a midfielder defensively or as a striker offensively if that's what I have to do," Mata said during an interview with Daily Mail.

"But my mission is to assist and score. I can do that from this position and I hope I can have a great season. But more importantly it has to be a great season for the team."

Nevertheless, the Spanish maestro believes the new system will demand a lot from the squad.

"This system is difficult and it's difficult to adapt. You have to be very fit, for example. You have to be focused but, if you manage to master it, you can put lots of pressure on the opponent and you can hurt them with the ball," he said.

"I think everyone knows that Dutch football likes to play a good way, a way I like to play and watch. This manager wants passing and movement and triangles. It's how I play my best."

Asked about United's target for the new season, he said: "We would all love to win the league but the most important goal - what this club needs - is to play in the Champions League again"

"I cannot imagine a Champions League two years in a row without United."