Friday 18 January 2019

Others will make up for Rooney loss says de Gea

Manchester United keeper David de Gea claims other players are ready to step into the breach to fill the void left by Wayne Rooney's three-match suspension.

Rooney will miss all his side's games in October, starting against his former side Everton on Sunday and including Chelsea's trip to Old Trafford, after being sent off during United's 2-1 Premier League win over West Ham.

De Gea said: "Of course he's a really important player for us and he's the captain but we have other players ready to play.

"We have a very important game on Sunday. We won very important points against West Ham with 10 players in a difficult match and if we win against Everton we'll be in a good position in the table.

"Fletch (Darren Fletcher) is the next captain and I think he will be a great captain.

"Of course it was a red card but Wayne Rooney is a top player and I think he has to keep going."

United's wobbly defence has conceded 13 goals in seven matches since the start of the season and De Gea admits that improvement is needed, but that a succession of injuries have disrupted the back-line.

Given the firepower up front however, with Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria all world-class players, De Gea says a good defence is now the key.

He added: "We have had a lot of injuries this season and it is difficult when you play with a different back four but I think we have a lot of good defenders.

"We have to play well and defend well - we know we have great strikers and midfielders so if we defend well we will win games."

De Gea said there was now a "new era" at United under manager Louis van Gaal but that the demands remained the same. He also conceded it felt strange for the players not to be involved in Champions League weeks.

He said: "It's the same club but with different people. We need to look forward and try to win titles - we know we have to (at least) be in the top four and after this we will see if we can win the league and FA Cup.

"It's strange for the team this week as this club has always been in the Champions League and it's difficult for us but now we have more time to prepare.

"It's a new era, a new manager and new players - everything is new but this is Manchester United and you have to win games and win titles."

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