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The Spaniard has fallen out of favour since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, but is optimistic that his versatility can force a return to the first team

Chelsea's Juan Mata is hoping his ability to play in a variety of positions will see him become a regular starter again at Stamford Bridge.

The Spain international was one of the club's stand-out performers in the past two seasons, scoring 12 goals and providing as many assists in 35 Premier League appearances.

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But he has found himself on the periphery of the first team this season, with new boss Jose Mourinho overlooking the 25-year-old on several occasions, including last Saturday's 2-0 victory over Fulham.

Mata did feature for the side in the 2-0 League Cup triumph against Swindon Town on Tuesday, however, and he is hoping his versatility will earn him a run of starts in order to help him hit top form.

Speaking to The Sun, Mata said: "I've been training hard but it's not the same. You improve your rhythm by playing games.

"I've worked hard and wanted to show everyone that I can play and everything is okay.

"It is easy for me to focus on football and just do what I have to do. The only thing I have in my mind is to keep working, keep training hard, keep improving and keep scoring and making assists. That's what I did.

"I've played in three positions. In the beginning I was playing as a left winger, then on the right and last season as a No.10. I feel comfortable playing in any offensive position.

"It's better if a player can play in lots of positions rather than just one."

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