Fergie backs struggling De Gea

United face injury crisis after launching title-defence with a 2-1 win.

Afp August 15, 2011


Sir Alex Ferguson insists that £18.3 million goal-keeper David De Gea will become a Manchester United sensation despite the Spaniard’s howler which allowed West Brom to creep back into Sunday’s Premier League clash.

De Gea, signed from Atletico Madrid in the summer, was responsible for allowing Shane Long to mark his Albion debut with an equalising goal after Wayne Rooney’s opener at the Hawthorns before the champions clinched a 2-1 win.

However, Ferguson believes it will be the perfect character test to see if the 20-year-old can fill the void left by retired star Edwin van der Sar.

“I said welcome to English football to him at half-time,” said Ferguson. “We lost a goal that David should have done better on. Maybe it was a lack of concentration. He took a bit of a battering in the second half and he should have been protected better by the referee, but he was not.

“It was good experience for him and if my recollection serves me correctly, coming from European football is a learning process for a goal-keeper.”

United’s injury crisis

Meanwhile, Ferguson faces a defensive injury crisis just one match into the new season after Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic limped out of Sunday’s victory. Ferguson confirmed England defender Ferdinand is likely to be out for six weeks with a hamstring problem, while Serbian centre-back Vidic suffered a calf injury.On top of that double blow, Ferguson also discovered that Brazilian right-back Rafael da Silva will be out for 10 weeks with a dislocated shoulder.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.