De Gea taking tips from Friedel
Man Utd's David de Gea says he has been taking inspiration from Tottenham's Brad Friedel to help him get to grips with the Premier League.
Last Updated: 03/03/12 1:45pm
Manchester United's David de Gea says he has been taking inspiration from Tottenham's Brad Friedel to help him get to grips with life as a Premier League keeper.
The 21-year-old, who has struggled at times this season after his summer move from Atletico Madrid, was man of the match in United's 2-1 win at Norwich last week and is confident he is now finding his form.
And De Gea, who will line-up against Friedel as Spurs and United clash at White Hart Lane on Sunday, says watching a man 19 years his senior has been a great help.
"I always valued his work and had heard good things about his performances in the Premier League and with the American team," De Gea told The Sun.
"I've watched him on video because it is interesting to compare yourself to other keepers.
"He is excellent in one-on-one situations and also when faced with free-kicks. Watching him makes me want to play for United when I'm 40!
"That's not easy and Friedel deserves great credit still to be playing. Keepers improve as the years go by but, at the moment, I'm still a baby."
De Gea has also been quick to pay tribute to the Manchester United coaching staff for his recent turnaround in fortune and, in particular, his manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
"I know I failed in some matches, but that has helped me learn - and the key was the manager's support.
"I am working on my athletic ability every day to improve my agility and jumping. English football is very hard for keepers and I need to be the boss of my own area.
"To order men like Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic around is not easy for a rookie like me.
"But they are very professional and tell me the goalkeeper is the owner of the area and accept what I say."
He added: "Sir Alex is a big influence. He has helped me cope with the pressure. I am not surprised by the pressure and I try and turn this into a positive."