De Gea and Heaton preview 'massive' April
As March turns to April, Manchester United goalkeepers David De Gea and Tom Heaton have been looking ahead to a potentially pivotal month for the Reds.
United face nine games before May, starting with a triple-header of Premier League fixtures - against top-four rivals Newcastle United, on Sunday, before home clashes with Brentford and Everton.
The two legs of our Europa League quarter-final tie against Sevilla sandwich another top-flight outing, versus Nottingham Forest, before the huge Emirates FA Cup semi-final meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.
Further Premier League fixtures follow before April is out as we travel to Tottenham and then entertain Aston Villa, but De Gea is taking it all in his stride as the squad works towards its goals.
“We have massive games coming,” David told club media this week. “We have a couple of competitions where we’re close to being in the final, so it’s great again and we have to be sure that we finish in the top four as well. It’s massive for the club and for us.
“Nine games in one month is a lot, I think we’re playing a lot of games, but that’s football right now.
“We have to prepare the games as best we can and recover well, because we don’t have many games between them.
“Hopefully, we can keep winning and enjoy what we’re doing this season.”
De Gea’s deputy Tom Heaton is, unfortunately, out of contention for the first portion of the month after suffering an injury in training recently.
He hopes to be back by the time of our second trip to Wembley in as many months but wants the focus to always remain on the next game in the meantime.
“I’m hoping to be back in amongst it by then,” Tom said. “But I think you’re right: a semi-final trip to Wembley, the focus will be on getting to the final.
“We know it’s a tough game and they’re a very good side, so that will be the thought process at that moment in time.
“But I think, as David mentioned, there are so many games at this moment and we’re fighting on a few fronts, which is exactly where we want to be at Manchester United.
“I think it's important we don't get ahead of ourselves and too far in front of it. It’s one game at a time and the next one coming is Newcastle, so it'll be all eyes on that.”
Sun 2: Newcastle (A, 16:30)
Wed 5: Brentford (H, 20:00)
Sat 8: Everton (H, 12:30)
Thurs 13: Sevilla (H, 20:00)
Sun 16: Nottingham Forest (A, 16:30)
Thurs 20: Sevilla (A, 20:00)
Sun 23: Brighton (N, 16:30)
Thurs 27: Tottenham (A, 20:15)
Sun 30: Aston Villa (H, 14:00)
All kick-off times in BST.