Juan Mata thinks Manchester United will be challenging for silverware this year under Louis van Gaal.
When Mata signed for United last January, the club were in the midst of a dreadful run of form that cost manager David Moyes his job.
Despite the £37.5million arrival of the Spaniard, United could only finish seventh and Moyes was replaced by Van Gaal.
United fans will get a first glimpse of their new boss in the dugout on Wednesday night when the Red Devils take on the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Van Gaal has only been in his position for six days, but his arrival has injected optimism into a squad previously short on confidence and Mata is looking forward to a successful season ahead.
United finished 22 points behind winners Manchester City last term, but Mata sees no reason why his team cannot challenge for the Barclays Premier League and other trophies under the vastly experienced Van Gaal.
"It's the start of a new era for the club, with a new manager and players coming in," United's club-record signing said.
"I'm really happy with the manager's style of football and hopefully at the end of the season we can celebrate something, which would be amazing for him and for us.
"We're focused on improving and trying to learn from the manager, to play at our best level during the season. The main idea is to play as a team and compete for titles."
Arsenal transfer talk: Potential summer targets
Arsenal transfer talk: Potential summer targets
1/14 Sami Khedira
The World Cup winner looks to be heading to the Emirates if the reports are to be believed, as the Real Madrid midfielder looks set for a £26m switch to the Gunners. Having turned down a new contract and just a year remaining on his current deal, Khedira could soon be Arsenal's latest big-name signing.
2/14 Douglas Costa
Costa is one of six Brazilian players refusing to return to Shaktar Donetsk due to the increasing political unrest in Ukraine. Arsene Wenger is reported to be interested in the 23-year-old, with the Gunners reported to be preparing a move for the attacking midfielder.
3/14 Morgan Schneiderlin
Schneiderlin is a transfer target for the Gunners' fierce rivals Tottenham, but Arsenal are reported to have held talks with the 25-year-old Frenchman over a move that would see him snub Spurs. The midfielder would fill the defensive role that Arsenal are currently lacking.
4/14 John Ruddy
The Norwich goalkeeper would be a shock signing for Arsenal, but rumours have linked the England stopper with a move. Arsenal do need another goalkeeper to replace Lukasz Fabianski, but it is worth noting that Ruddy was part of a side that were relegated last season and conceded the third highest number of goals. The arrival of David Ospina has made it even less likely.
5/14 Iker Casillas
Another goalkeeper linked with Arsenal this summer is Real Madrid stopper Casillas. He's not been the favourite at the Bernabeu for a couple of seasons now and his disastrous World Cup has led to speculation he could move on. Again, the arrival of Ospina makes Arsenal's need for him not so desperate, but Wenger may not want to pass up the chance to sign such an experienced keeper.
6/14 Michy Batshuayi
The Standard Liege star has already stated that he expects to leave at the end of the season, preferring to move to either England or Germany and recently admitting that Arsenal are his favourite team. The 20-year-old striker is the top scorer in the Belgian league this season. Batshuayi can also operate on the wing and has been linked with Everton and Napoli. Arsenal are said to be willing to pay his release clause, which is understood to be £6.5m.
7/14 Javi Martinez
Arsenal are believed to be one of a number of clubs looking at Bayern Munich defender/midfielder Martinez should he become available in the summer. He would not come cheaply though, given the Bavarian club activated his €40m release fee to sign him in 2012.
8/14 Julian Draxler
A move during the January transfer window failed to materialise over Draxler's £37m release clause with Arsenal unwilling to pay the hefty fee, according to Schalke's sporting director. The German international was also said to be a target for Bayern Munich in case Toni Kroos failed to sign a new deal with the Bundesliga champions. However, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled out a summer move for the highly-rated 20-year-old. Arsenal will have to change their stance over the transfer fee to acquire the attacker with several big clubs interested.
With Bacary Sagna confirming he will leave at the end of the season, Arsenal look short in the right-back department. A reported £9m move for Atletico Madrid defender Juanfran was rejected, but the Gunners could return for his services should they up their bid.
10/14 Josip Drmic
Arsenal have been linked with the Nurnberg striker recently after Lothar Matthaus claimed on Sky Germany that the Gunners had already signed the 21-year-old. Wenger is said to be keen to bring in the Swiss striker before the World Cup this summer. Drmic is a wanted man after scoring 16 goals in the Bundesliga this season despite his club battling against relegation. Drmic, who has three-years left on his current deal, is reported to have a release clause of less than £5m. Only Bayern Munich star Mario Mandzukic, Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski and Hertha Berlin striker Adrian Ramos have scored more league goals than Drmic this season.
11/14 Sebastian Jung
Eintracht Frankfurt defender Jung has been monitored by Arsenal this season. The 23-year-old has been one of their best players this season as the Bundesliga side recovered from a bad start to move clear of the relegation battle once they were eliminated from the Europa League. The German could be available for a fee in the region of £2m but the Gunners may face competition from Wolfsburg.
12/14 Atsuto Uchida
Uchida will travel to Brazil for the World Cup as part of Japan's national team, but the Schalke defender could see himself become the subject of interest from Arsenal as they seek a replacement for Bacary Sagna.
13/14 Salomon Kalou
The former Chelsea forward, currently at Lille in France, is interested in a return to the Premier League. To the dismay of Arsenal fans the Ivory Coast international has been linked once again to a move to the Emirates. Kalou could be available for a fee in the region of £2.5m this summer despite still having two years remaining on his current deal at the Ligue 1 side.
14/14 Juan Quintero
Having impressed at the World Cup, Quintero could be on the move just 12 months after joining Porto. Arsenal have been linked with a £15.8m bid for the Colombia midfielder who impressed at the World Cup.
Mata and his team-mates have been keen to impress Van Gaal during intense double-training sessions under the LA sun.
And if they needed another reminder that they are playing for their futures, then it was duly delivered by Ed Woodward on Sunday when he told United fans to expect more incomings and outgoings over the next few weeks.
While Mata understands the need for tough training, the Spaniard thinks it is important the players do not overdo it.
"The most important thing is to get ready, step by step, and not too hard because injuries can happen," the former Chelsea player told MUTV.
"It's important for us to prepare physically and mentally for the long season."
Video: Louis van Gaal unveiled as Manchester United boss
Like Mata, Chris Smalling will take part in the entire pre-season tour as England were knocked out of the World Cup at the group stages.
The centre-back is under pressure to establish himself as a first-team regular following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Smalling hopes the hard graft he and his team-mates are putting in during their stay in the US will be worthwhile.
When asked what the toughest part of pre-season is, the former Fulham defender said: "The running. You usually do two or three sessions a day, two outside and one in the gym.
"It's quite hard on your lungs and your legs, but you know that come August you'll be ready to last the distance for the season."
Van Gaal will speak for the first time on the tour on Tuesday at a press conference in the 92,542-capacity Rose Bowl stadium which will host the match.
Striker Javier Hernandez will join up with the squad on the eve of the match but is unlikely to play.
After the game against the Galaxy, United will head to Denver, where they play Roma in the International Champions Cup.
Further matches against Inter Milan in Washington and versus Real Madrid in Michigan follow, as well as a potential final against City, Liverpool, Olympiacos or AC Milan in Miami should United top their group.
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