Mata still hopeful of UCL progress

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata refused to dismiss his side's chances of progressing to the next stage of the Champions League despite being close to elimination.

Football News: Juan Mata, Victor Moses, Gary Cahil

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The Blues are under increasing pressure following a dismal run of results; Chelsea have failed to pick up a win in their last six games in all competitions, resulting in the Blues not only finding themselves 10 points off the top of the Premier League but also on the verge of being eliminated from the Champions League.

Chelsea's last Champions League game, a 3-0 loss to Juventus, turned out to be former Blues manager Roberto Di Matteo last game in charge, and the Stamford Bridge outfit's fate in the tournament is no longer in their hands; the Blues will need to pick up a win against already eliminated Danish champions Nordsjaelland and hope for Shakhtar Donetsk to beat Juventus.

However, Mata remains optimistic that his side can defy the odds and secure qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League and claims that his side can put their recent poor run of form behind them.

"The only way to end this bad streak is being positive and focusing on the next match in the Champions League," Mata penned in his blog.

"We have to believe that we will get through. And I do believe so.

"Shaktar are a great team, a tough one at home, and I'm sure it won't be easy for Juventus to get points there.

"I hope we can get through and then face with optimism our game at Sunderland and the trip to Japan to play the Club's World Cup."

Mata also expressed his excitement at taking part in the Club's World Cup, a competition between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations, and declared that the Blues would do all they could to emerge victorious in the tournament.

"I'm looking forward to it [Club World Cup], Japan is a country I've always felt attracted to," Mata added. 

"This will be the first time our club plays this tournament and it would be very nice to get a new title for Chelsea FC. 

"Our supporters deserve it and it would be the perfect end to the year that gave us the first Champions League trophy in the history of the 'Blues'."

Chelsea romped to a 4-0 win over Nordsjaelland when the two sides met in October, with Mata scoring a brace in the fixture.



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