United boss impressed to see confident De Gea Man up
Published 22:26 01/04/12 By David Anderson
Sir Alex Ferguson has praised David De Gea’s character as Manchester United attempt to open up a five-point lead in the title race at Blackburn’s expense.
De Gea was at fault during United’s shock home defeat by Blackburn three months ago when he failed to deal with Rovers’ aerial assault.
Fergie is impressed by how the young Spaniard has eradicated that weakness in his game – and he has not conceded a goal in 273 minutes of league action.
Ferguson claims the £17.8million signing from Atletico Madrid has successfully adjusted to the physical demands of the English game ahead of the champions’ trip to Ewood – and says his ‘boy’ has become a man.
“The area in which he has been criticised was really in aerial balls into the box, like the Blackburn game and the last corner into the box,” said the United boss.
“He should have dealt with that better. He knew that and he has addressed that situation and shown great improvement there.
“He knew it was a challenge and he stood up as a man. He got a grip of it and didn’t let it get to him.
“It took him time to adjust to the different ways of the English game as opposed to the Spanish game, but he’s done it now. The boy has improved with every game he has played and now he’s got confidence – and confidence is a great factor for footballers.”
De Gea’s new authority was evident against Fulham last Monday when United had to endure a nervy finale before scraping home.
“The other night against Fulham, once again, he made two or three terrific punches, clearances in the second half of the game when they started to hurl the ball into the box,” said Ferguson.
“He has made fantastic improvement, the boy.”
United can strike another significant blow in the title race by beating Steve Kean’s men, but Ferguson is wary of Rovers.
He claims they will be dangerous because they are scrapping for survival and United have won just two of their last 12 league visits to Ewood.
“You look at the fixtures and Blackburn are fighting for their lives, Queens Park Rangers are fighting for their lives, Aston Villa are fighting for their lives, Wigan are fighting for their lives,” he said.
“We saw this the other night with the Fulham game and you know these games are going to be tight.”