Mata targets league crown
Juan Mata has set his sights on winning the Premier League and believes Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard can play key roles.
By Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 17/08/12 2:55pm
Juan Mata has set his sights on winning the Premier League in his second season at Chelsea and believes Fernando Torres and Eden Hazard can help fill the void created by Didier Drogba's departure.
Mata joined the Blues from Valencia last summer and enjoyed his first year at the club as they tasted success in both the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup.
The biggest disappointment, though, was a sixth-place finish in the Premier League and Mata knows it will be difficult to close the gap and challenge for glory.
He is nevertheless confident of coming out on top, having seen a number of new faces arrive during the transfer window to strengthen Roberto Di Matteo's squad.
"Our main challenge this season is to win the Premier League," the Spaniard told Sky Sports.
"It won't be easy because the big clubs have reinforced their squads, and I expect a hard campaign.
"Chelsea have worked well in the transfer market and now it is important for the new men to settle quickly.
"The defeat in the Community Shield was painful but now it is the start of the season and we must start quickly."
If Chelsea are to win the title then new stars will have to emerge and take on more responsibility after Drogba left for Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.
Torres is set to be deployed as the main striker after gradually rediscovering form over the past few months, while Hazard will be another key player following his summer move from Lille.
Mata said: "We will miss Drogba because he is a legend of the club but now is the moment for Torres and I have total faith in him.
"I also know the work of Hazard and really this man could be one of the positive surprises of the season."
Mata believes there are several teams likely to be fighting for the title but he does not think Chelsea should go into the season with any fear.
He said: "The favourites? For me it is Chelsea.
"But City have kept their key men, United have strengthened, Arsenal and Spurs have some important arrivals and you must not forget Liverpool."