Man U brace for de­ci­sive Xmas

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

LON­DON. - Manch­ester United must find top form head­ing into what can be the “de­ci­sive” Christ­mas pe­riod, mid­fielder Juan Mata has said ahead of Satur­day’s English Pre­mier League home game against New­cas­tle United.

United, in sec­ond place, trail neigh­bours City by eight points af­ter 11 games and were beaten 1-0 by cham­pi­ons Chelsea in their last out­ing be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break.

“We re­turn to train­ing with the mind­set on the New­cas­tle match and the im­por­tance of the months that lie ahead, as they come loaded with games, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod,” Mata wrote on his blog on the club’s web­site.

“These are mo­ments in which good form of the team can be de­ci­sive for the sec­ond part of the sea­son.”

Mata, who has not fea­tured in the league since last month’s 2-1 loss at Hud­der­s­field Town, said United had to guard against com­pla­cency against New­cas­tle.

Striker Romelu Lukaku be­lieves his re­cent goal drought at Manch­ester United is a re­sult of the club not play­ing at the level they did at the start of the Pre­mier League sea­son.

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