Helping hand for De Gea but Ferguson will not drop him
Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledged today that coaching work was needed for goalkeeper David de Gea.
The Manchester United manager is likely to select the 22-year-old to face Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round tomorrow at the end of a week in which his error which allowed Tottenham Hotspur their equaliser in last Sunday's Premier League game has justifiably been questioned by the club's former captain Gary Neville.
"He had a fantastic game and was 30 seconds away from that," said Ferguson. "I remember talking about how well he played and then 30 seconds from time the ball park changes. It is unfortunate for the lad but he has to deal with it. We will help him.Outfield players maybe make 20 mistakes in a game but [goalkeepers] are in a crucial position. We are OK with him."
Ferguson, whose club have announced that Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha will be joining them in July, was reluctant to engage today on topics as diverse as the Eden Hazard ballboy incident and Rafael Benitez's claims that the United manager exerts undue influence. But he did make it clear that he had robustly defended his right to question a match official's performance, in his response to the Football Association's request for his observations on how he conducted himself before the cameras at White Hart Lane on Sunday evening.
"That is what I have put in my letter exactly," Ferguson said. "But you know the FA. You never know. It is one of these things. We are high profile. I think the press plays its part too; they panic when the press [write things]. Some of the headlines were 'Ferguson may be charged by the FA'. You [journalists] have your part to play in that because the profile of me is such that the FA naturally panic as soon as the press criticise them. That is why they have sent me a letter. Whether I think it is unfair or not doesn't matter to them really at this point. I just think it is more about me than what I have said."
The Palace co-chairman Steve Parish said the rapid conclusion of the Zaha deal would enhance his side's Championship promotion prospects. Zaha was at United's Carrington training ground yesterday for a medical ahead of the £15m transfer that will see him loaned back to Palace for the rest of the season.
"I'm pleased that we can put it all behind us and concentrate on trying to get into the Premier League," Parish said. "It's a good deal for us and the player – if Manchester United are interested in your player then you have to find a solution. It's been hard for him to go on the pitch every week with his future in the balance. The way things have gone is an elegant solution."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Loic Remy joins Chelsea: Striker adds artillery to Diego Costa's firepower
Leicester vs Arsenal player ratings: Who was the star man? Wes Morgan? Leonard Ulloa? Alexis Sanchez?
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
- 1 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward