De Gea: Mistakes are part of the game
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has no intention of letting his mistakes bother him.
The Spain Under-21 star endured a troubled start to his United career following an £18million summer move from Atletico Madrid. However, De Gea appeared to have settled into his role until New Year's Eve, when his failure to collect Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner led to a surprise winner for Blackburn at Old Trafford.
Now he is under the spotlight again. But De Gea insists it is part of a goalkeeper's lot to receive criticism when any kind of mistake is made. He told Inside United: "Let's face it, all keepers make mistakes once in a while and none of us like it when we do.
"It's well known that the style of play here is rather more physical and as a goalkeeper you've got to be right on it. You've got to be attentive all through the match," he went on. "The players coming at you can shoot from any angle, and they can shoot from distance.
"There's also a lot of crosses from the sides, a lot of high balls and aerial play," said De Gea. "So, you've got to get in there and block and stop shots being taken."
On Friday, Sir Alex Ferguson said De Gea would play against both Blackburn and Newcastle. However, in light of the Spaniard's most recent performance, it cannot have escaped the United manager's notice that De Gea's deputy, Anders Lindegaard, has kept six successive clean sheets since conceding once on his seasonal debut against Benfica in September.
A change is possible on Tyneside therefore, although, no matter what short-term set-backs he endures, De Gea's long-term plan remains to stay at Old Trafford for many years. "I have every intention of spending many years here at Manchester United," he said. "I want to become a great United keeper and I want to earn and deserve the respect I hope to get. I want to help United make history."
And that means the immediate priority is to win what appears to be a straight battle with Manchester City in order to secure a 20th league title. "Manchester City are causing us a few headaches and Chelsea are still there as well," he said. "It is not going to be easy but we have to keep that pressure up, it's our principle objective. In every way we can, we are going to try and go on and win the league."