Juan Mata keen on Chelsea first team spot

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Juan Mata says he is determined to force his way into Jose Mourinho's first-team plans after his game-changing performance against Tottenham on Saturday.

Mata has been marginalised at Stamford Bridge this term and been told he must change his game if he wants to make his way into the first team.

Having been named as a substitute for Chelsea's draw against Tottenham at White Hart Lane yesterday, the Spaniard emerged from the bench with his side 1-0 down to provide an assist for John Terry to make it 1-1.

Mourinho confirmed afterwards that Mata would be rewarded for his cameo with a start in the Champions League next week against Steaua Bucharest, and the former Valencia man hopes that will be the start of a prolonged run in the first team.

"Obviously everyone wants to play but, I am a professional, I respect all of my team-mates and what I want to do is enjoy it on the pitch, and I think against Tottenham I did that," he said.

"We needed to improve and we tried to, and when I came on I just tried to give my best for the team.

"It is what I did since I came and it is what I am going to do until the end. I am happy with the second half, but it wasn't enough to win.

"Last season we won here and this season we wanted to win again, it wasn't possible but the team showed that we can fight until the end."

John Terry meanwhile was delighted with his equaliser against Spurs, and dedicated it to the travelling Chelsea supporters.

"I am absolutely delighted. I took a bit of stick here over the last few years so that's for the fans who have supported me over the years," he said.

"I stayed wider and changed places with Lamps and I got in behind and got on the end of it. It was a great ball from Juan again.

"It means a lot to the fans so it was good to get on the scoresheet and get us back in the game."

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