Chelsea’s assistant first team coach, Steve Holland, has advised playmaker Juan Mata to trust manager Jose Mourinho, Sky
Despite consistently impressing since arriving from Valencia in the summer of 2011, Mata has found first team opportunities hard to come by under Mourinho, who returned in the summer to begin his second spell in charge.
So far this season Mata has started just two matches – against Aston Villa and Everton in the Premier League – and was left out of the squad completely for Saturday’s victory over Fulham. Yet to complete 90 minutes, Mata has been forced to play second fiddle to Oscar, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle.
And, comparing Mata with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, former Crewe Alexandra boss Holland said: “He (Mourinho) is always pushing, pushing the players to the maximum every day. That’s evident not just in his teams, but in the individuals he’s worked with.
“If you look Jose’s three-year period working with Ronaldo, he’s really evolved as an individual. He’s not just a talented dribbler and runner with the ball who can score goals. He has become a top-level match-winner who wants to run in behind, make runs, threaten the goal.”
Mourinho has previously claimed that Mata had to adapt to his style of play, and Holland added: “Having to adapt – and Jose has used that phrase – is nothing particularly new here. It’s another adaptation that is required. Juan has shown in his time here that he’s more than capable of doing that. And I’m sure that will be the case this time.”
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