Juan Mata sends Europa League message to Manchester United

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Spanish midfielder Juan Mata has urged his Man United teammates to aim to win the Europa League ahead of our trip to FC Club Brugge for the Europa League last-32 stage first leg on Thursday.

“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,” he told MUTV.

“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.

“It’s a really nice competition to win.”

The previous European meeting between United and the Belgian outfit took place in 2015. Louis van Gaal’s men defeated Brugge 7-1 on aggregate in the 2015/16 Champions League play-off.

When asked about what it would take to win the competition, the Spaniard who has won it twice with both Chelsea and United replied:

“I think the key is not to make too many mistakes, because a very cheap goal can cost you in the competition.

“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 per cent focused in every game.”

United will take on the Belgian side in the return leg at Old Trafford on February 27.