Manchester United attacking midfielder Juan Mata says he and his team-mates deserved to be knocked out of the FA Cup over the weekend.
The Red Devils lost their quarter-final tie to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday evening.
Mata, who made his comeback from a hamstring injury as a substitute in the closing stages of the 2-1 defeat, says United did not deserve to progress to the semi-finals.
But the former Chelsea man did report that he came through his cameo appearance unscathed.
He acknowledged that Wolves were the better team on the night and called on the squad to show their personality to get their season back on track after the March international break.
Writing in his weekly blog column, the Spain international said: “It hurts to say that Saturday’s defeat against Wolverhampton was deserved, as it saw us head out of the FA Cup and you all know the hopes that we had riding on this competition, especially after progressing through some really tough knock-out ties. We fought until the very last minute but they were better than us and we have to accept it.
“These are the kinds of situations that put your personality and the spirit in the dressing room to the test, which is something we’ve talked about when we have been winning. I’m sure that we are going to leave this defeat behind and head towards the most important part of the season with our batteries fully charged after the international break. The time is approaching.
“It is a shame, as the FA Cup game saw my return from the injury that I suffered against Liverpool and I was feeling good on the physical side of things. I featured in the later stages and felt fine, although what would have made me feel even better would have been mounting a comeback up on the scoreboard too.”
United are next in action against Watford on March 30 in the Premier League. They then face Wolves again in a league fixture, before the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona.