Juan Mata admits the 2018-19 campaign was “very disappointing” for Manchester United, with the Red Devils needing “honest reflection” as they try to piece together plans for a positive response.
The Red Devils headed into the season under the guidance of Jose Mourinho looking to build on a runners-up finish in the Premier League from the previous year.
They were, however, to stumble out of the blocks and were forced into a managerial change by December that brought Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back to the club.
He enjoyed a bright start to his tenure, earning a three-year contract in the process, but a run of two wins in 12 games saw the curtain brought down in sorry style on a club stuck in sixth spot.
Mata, who is heading towards free agency, wrote in his personal blog when assessing a forgettable collective effort at Old Trafford: “The season has come to an end in England and obviously we head into the summer break disappointed.
“A defeat on the Premier League’s final weekend [to Cardiff] was the worst way to finish off what hasn’t been a good campaign for anyone who is part of the Manchester United family.
“There have been some good moments and matches along the way, which have to be remembered, but the feeling, in the end, is very bitter.
“I believe that now, once the season has finished, is the time for sincere and honest reflection.
“None of us are satisfied with the general performance levels that we have offered, for one reason or another.
“When we win, we do so together, and when we lose we also share the responsibility.
“Now is the moment to analyse, reflect and improve, because this club should be in a different situation to the one we find ourselves in, there can be no doubt about that.
“Although it isn’t healthy to just focus on the negatives, it also isn’t possible to deny the obvious, we have to be realistic and the season has been very disappointing.
“It’s very painful and that feeling will last through the whole summer.
“All of you, however, have been way better than the team. When I see your faces at Old Trafford, applauding, supporting and cheering us on after waiting for ages to say goodbye to us, I understand how big this sport is… and how big this club is.
“Your support has been admirable, especially in those moments. You all deserve a lot more than what you’re getting. That is the reality.”
Mata may not be back for more in 2019-20 as no extension to his expiring contract has been agreed as yet.