Juan Mata has become the first Manchester United player to publicly speak out about David Moyes following his sacking last week.
The Spaniard became Manchester United's most expensive player ever when Moyes signed him in January from Chelsea for a fee believed to be in the region of £37 million.
However that proved to be one of the few high points in the former Everton boss's 10-month reign at Old Trafford, and he was relieved of his duties following a disheartening defeat against his former club eight days ago which left the club down in 7th in the Premier League.
Reports have suggested that Moyes failed in part due to his inability to win over the Manchester United dressing room - something which has seemingly been backed up by the fact that no United player has publicly thanked him since his departure.
Temporary replacement and former assistant Ryan Giggs mentioning Moyes only in passing during his first press conference as boss, while Rio Ferdinand failed to mention his former boss when posting on Twitter last week.
He wrote: "Roll on match day....been an eventful week to say the least....looking for a good performance & result."
Now Mata has broken rank and become the first player to publicly thank Moyes for the role he played in taking him from Chelsea to Old Trafford.
"I don't want to forget that, since the beginning of the week, David Moyes is no longer our manager," the 26-year-old, who celebrates his birthday today, said.
"I wish him and his technical staff the best of luck in the future and I thank him for his continuous interest in me and his importance during my transfer to become a Manchester United player."
Giggs will take charge of Manchester United until the end of the season, and got his reign off to the perfect start with a 4-0 win over Norwich on Saturday.
Mata scored twice in the game at Old Trafford, and while he was happy with the result, the Spaniard admitted it had been a 'tough' season so far.
"It was Ryan Giggs' first game as a manager after plenty of years of success on the pitch and the truth is everything went well," Mata said. "Our fans deserve that. They deserve scores like this one because, in this tough season, they have gone home with a downcast face too many times.
"So that's what we are going to try [to change] in the remaining games."
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