Manchester: Juan Mata expects Manchester United to rediscover the winning formula as they aim to step up their Premier League title challenge against West Ham today.

Juan Mata warms up during a Manchester United training session 

Louis van Gaal’s side have lost just one of their last 15 games and could return to the top of the table if they beat the Hammers at Old Trafford and other results go their way. Yet the perception remains that all is not entirely well at United, with their recent run containing too few victories, while entertaining play has been in short supply.

Van Gaal’s methods have been called into question by pundits, supporters and, if various media reports are accurate, some players. The United manager remains a firm believer in his footballing 'philosophy' and the defensive improvements made by the Dutchman have given his club the meanest defence in the league with just 10 goals conceded.

Only one of those has come at Old Trafford and United will be expected to extend their unbeaten home run against a faltering West Ham team. But Spanish midfielder Mata knows van Gaal’s men needs to capitalise on a promising run of league fixtures before Christmas, which also include games against strugglers Bournemouth and Norwich, and get out of the habit of drawing games following six draws in their last nine games. "The last two draws haven’t been good for us," Mata said. "We don’t like draws and we want to go back to the victories. They (West Ham) have a very good manager and some of their players are very talented, but our aim is to get the three points."