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Mata slams 'cowardly' racist slurs following Pogba abuse

15:35 BST 22/08/2019
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019-20
The Spain international calls for crackdown on social media output after his Red Devils team-mate became the latest victim of trolls

Juan Mata has joined the fight against “cowardly” individuals who racially abused Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba on social media.

The France international was sent a series of racist messages after missing a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Monday night.

“It's not something we should be speaking about, because it should have been eradicated a long time ago," Mata told ESPN .

“That's one of the things about social media. It's fantastic to connect people if you use it for the right things.

“But it also gives a chance for so many people to let go of their frustrations towards other people and with no problems because there are so many fake accounts.

“There's no identity. Then you can say whatever you want and you are not punished. It's a problem."

He added: “Unfortunately some people do that and it needs to stop. It's cowardly to do it that way because no one can see you. It's not nice.”

United colleagues Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford have also come out in support of the World Cup winner in the aftermath of the written attacks.

Meanwhile Mata has spoken of his delight at still being with the club following close season rumours of a move away from Old Trafford.

“I'm very happy to be here and very happy we have started the season," he explained.

"The [summer pre-season] tour [to Australia, China, Singapore and Wales] was a nice few weeks for all of us to be together. We are only starting, but we're happy.

"I would be happier if we had six points. That's what we felt after the Wolves game but the first game was very good against a good side [Chelsea].

"We've got four points, but we're looking forward to getting three more on Saturday [against Crystal Palace].

“Every time that you start a new season there is excitement. We have a manager that everyone knows, he's been around the club for many years and has done great things here.

“We are all very excited about what we can do. Hopefully we can have a great season and keep our fans happy and excited until the end of the season," he added.