De Gea at Old Trafford.

De Gea: We know how big this Everton game is

David De Gea has declared a “real sense of commitment” among the Manchester United players ahead of an important Premier League match against Everton.

The Reds are determined to claim all three points from the Old Trafford encounter and our no.1 has called on the team to
“control the game from minute one”
.

Here, in our exclusive interview, De Gea speaks openly about United’s recent form, a couple of well-known connections with the Toffees and the exciting promise of Marcus Rashford ahead of the forward's imminent 21st birthday…

Firstly, how do you reflect on the performance against Juventus in midweek?
“I have got to be honest and say it was probably not our best performance, but we were up against a top side who were very well organised and prepared. They happened to perform well on the night and they worked hard. I think in the second half we had a chance to equalise, but at the end of the day we have to admit that they were superior to us on the night. It is behind us now and the focus is on Everton. It is a key match and a real chance to go for the three points.”
David De Gea says

"I have to say that we are really focused and committed. There is a real sense of commitment among the players. We know how big this game is."

One of the positives from the Juventus game was the performance of Chris Smalling, who is about to make his 300th United appearance. You did that recently – how big an achievement is it?
“I think it is a lot of games in anybody’s book, but when you consider it is for a big club like Manchester United, then it is a fantastic achievement. Chris has been doing really, really well and he has managed to compete at a high level for all of those games. Just as an example, he and Victor [Lindelof] were great together. Hopefully, Chris will enjoy many, many more great games for this club, and Victor will too, because they worked well together on Tuesday.”
 
You have said that everybody is looking forward to the Everton match and all the players want to put on a positive performance and get the win. To do that, is it a case of reproducing what we have recently done in second halves but this time for the whole game?
“Yes. I have to say that we are really focused and committed. There is a real sense of commitment among the players. We know how big this game is. What we have to try to do is control the game from minute one, right from the referee’s first whistle when he starts the match. It is important we start well as a team, we keep things tight defensively and try to keep the ball, to have some possession. We know that we have got quality up front and our strikers will do a job for us. Iff we can get service to them then we can hurt them. That is what we’ve got to do with our strikers and these three points are very, very important. We are very focused and committed to getting them.”
David De Gea on Michael Keane says

"Things were a little bit unfortunate for him when he started there at the club but I am happy to see him doing well now, because he is a good player and he was when he was here."

Everton are playing well, have won three games in a row and have several players who are hitting form. One of them is Michael Keane, your former team-mate here at United. Are you pleased for him, following a difficult first season at Everton? 
“Yeah, as you say, Everton are a good side. They signed well and made some good acquisitions during the summer transfer window. They have a good squad of quality players. I am happy to see Keane doing so well, I am happy to see that he is featuring as a first choice in the starting XI. Obviously, things were a little bit unfortunate for him when he started there at the club but I am happy to see him doing well now, because he is a good player, as he was when he was here.”
David De Gea on Wayne Rooney says

"It is great to see him still playing so well. I am sure he will still be scoring goals until the day he retires, and not just ordinary goals – fantastic goals at that!"

Another big connection we have with Everton is Wayne Rooney, who has been scoring goals with DC United and driving them up the MLS table. You must be delighted to see him looking so happy and playing so well?
“Yeah, he is a legend of this club, of course he is. It is great to see him still playing so well. I am sure he will still be scoring goals until the day he retires, and not just ordinary goals – fantastic goals at that! He has always scored some classic goals. It is good to see, you can tell he is enjoying his football and I hope he continues to do well out there for as long as he possibly can.” 

 

Finally, Marcus Rashford will celebrate his 21st birthday next Wednesday, so will you and the lads mark the occasion in any way? And do you remember your own 21st birthday? 
“He is a great player and he is still very, very young. He is still only 21 and the amount of games he has played for Manchester United, it is a lot of games when you really think about it. He is a huge talent with a really promising future. I can’t remember too clearly how I celebrated my own 21st birthday. I think it was just a quiet celebration with a few people here at the club.”