Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata admits that the week ahead could prove to be vital for his team’s season.

Louis van Gaal’s men earned an FA Cup quarter-final replay against West Ham after Anthony Martial’s late equaliser cancelled out Dimitri Payet’s sumptuous free-kick on Sunday at Old Trafford.

However, with games against Liverpool and Manchester City coming up, the Red Devils have little time to catch breath. Manchester United could be heading out of the Europa League if they don’t pull off something special against Jurgen Klopp’s men at home on Thursday night.

And their visit to the Etihad for the Manchester derby on Sunday could prove to be crucial in their attempts to finish in the Champions League spots this season.

Mata is looking forward to the special games against Manchester United’s two most hated rivals, and admits that they need to call upon their big game spirit to get a couple of positive results.


The Spaniard wrote on his personal blog“Playing against Liverpool and Manchester City is always special for us and for our fans. On top of that, we will do it in just four days according to the calendar.

“There's a very important week ahead: we have the chance to overcome the score of Europa League's first leg and to shorten the gap with one of our rivals in the Premiership.

“As from today, we are absolutely focused on having two successful games, although the task is not easy and we are aware of that.

"We must bring back the spirit of the big games and show that we still have the opportunity to lift trophies.”

Manchester United will be looking for their big players, such as Mata, to stand up and be counted in their two crucial games this week.