Ferguson hails De Gea

Image: David De Gea: Stubborn streak

Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted with the resilience shown by his goalkeeper David De Gea this season.

United boss delighted with stubborn streak

Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted with the resilience shown by his goalkeeper David De Gea this season. The Spanish starlet arrived in the summer from Atletico Madrid for a deal worth in excess of £17million. He found life tough in the early stages of the season, and was rested at various times with Danish understudy Anders Lindergaard called-up. But De Gea has shown huge signs of improvement in recent months and is now firmly entrenched as number one. One of De Gea's low points was the defeat to Blackburn on New Year's eve, and now with the two due to meet again at Ewood Park in Monday Night Football, Ferguson believes his keeper has shown a similar stubborn streak to that of Rovers boss Steve Kean. "It's similar to what we were saying about Steve Kean," said Ferguson. "He got a grip of it and stood up as a man. "The area where he's been criticised was the aerial ability in the box. "He should have dealt with the last corner against Blackburn better. He knew that. "He has addressed that section. He didn't let it get to him and now the boy is playing with confidence. And confidence is a great factor in football."


That does not mean De Gea is suddenly dominating his penalty area in the way legendary United keepers Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar used to. However, he is starting to understand the need to impose his presence in penalty box situations and, at just 21, he has plenty of time to learn. "It took him time to adapt to the different ways of the English game and he is showing that now," said Ferguson. "The other night [against Fulham] he made two or three really terrific punches and blocks in the first and second half when they started to propel the ball into the box. "He has shown fantastic improvement. We expected his ability to show and we are seeing that now." Following Manchester City's failure to beat Sunderland on Saturday, United now have a chance to tighten their grip on the title race. Their next three fixtures - against Blackburn, QPR and Wigan - pit them against sides mired in relegation trouble, the one after that an Aston Villa outfit in freefall. However, the first three of those sides have won two of their last three games. So nothing will be taken for granted. "We know how quickly football can turn on you and bite you," said Ferguson. "You can look at all the fixtures and say all those teams are fighting for their lives. And they are the kind of games you know will be tight."

Around Sky