Steve Holland, assistant first team coach at Chelsea, has praised the performance of Juan Mata during the Blues’ Capital One Cup win at Swindon Town, Sky
Mata has featured only sporadically under Jose Mourinho this season and was left out of the squad to play Fulham last weekend altogether, amid speculation that the manager wanted Mata to put in more of a defensive shift while retaining his attacking edge. Mata responded against Swindon by playing a part in Fernando Torres’ opening goal after his shot was saved.
Holland explained that Mourinho has certain expectations of his forward players and Mata lived up to them in the 2-0 triumph over the League One side. “ Obviously a lot has been made of the Mata situation because he’s a high-profile player,” Holland said.
“The message to all of our attacking players from Jose from day one has been they need to contribute offensively in terms of their production and of course they have to contribute out of possession and defend.
“That’s been the challenge not just to Juan but all of our attacking players. In Juan’s case, if you look at his performance here, he made Fernando’s chance and was involved in the goal. Those two moments – goal-making and goal-scoring actions,” Holland continued.
“And then in injury time he’s conceded the final corner of the game supporting Ryan Bertrand in the left-back spot, which is how he was all night. Tonight, for sure, we’re very, very pleased with Juan’s contribution with and without the ball.”
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