Juan Mata has warned that Manchester United “haven’t won anything yet” as excitement continues to build around Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have enjoyed a positive opening to their 2017-18 campaign, both domestically and in Europe.
Four wins and 13 points from five Premier League games have them setting the early title pace alongside arch-rivals Manchester City, while a return to the Champions League was marked by a 3-0 victory over Basel.
Mata concedes that there is plenty of cause for optimism at present, but the World Cup winner is also wary of getting swept up in the hype surrounding Jose Mourinho’s side so early in the season.
He wrote in his personal blog on the back of a 4-0 victory over Everton: “We are happy, for sure, but we keep the euphoria away from the dressing room. Inside, we remain calm, with our feet firmly on the ground.
“We haven’t won anything yet, this is just the beginning and with such a busy schedule there’s no time to slow down and relax.
“This coming Wednesday we start the Carabao Cup, a new name for a competition in which we are the defending champions. We will be facing Burton Albion, a Championship club that will visit Old Trafford trying to play a historic game. They have just defeated Fulham and I’m sure they will try to surprise us.”
United will head into that game buoyed by their showing against Everton.
Mata was delighted with the performance put in by Mourinho’s side, with Antonio Valencia setting the tone with an early wonder strike which allowed the Red Devils to spoil Wayne Rooney’s return to the club.
“We had a very strong start in the first half – by the way, what a superb goal from Antonio, the goal of the season so far! – and we kept the 1-0 advantage until the last few minutes, when we managed to score more goals to seal the victory,” added Mata.
“I want to highlight Wayne Rooney’s return to Old Trafford. He’s part of the Manchester United legend and the crowd gave him the ovation that he deserves when he was substituted.
“Seeing that respect from our fans in the stadium to our former captain was really moving. It makes you feel proud of belonging to this club.
“I think Wayne has still a lot of things to say in football and I wish him the best for the rest of the season.”