David De Gea.

Ole: De Gea has proved the doubters wrong

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised David De Gea's spark and work-rate ahead of Thursday’s Premier League game against Aston Villa.

Should the Spaniard feature in the Midlands, it will be his 399th game as a Red, moving him up to second in the list of all-time United goalkeeper appearance-makers, behind Alex Stepney.

David is expected to overtake the great Peter Schmeichel’s tally against Villa, meaning he will also have made more outings for the Reds than any other overseas (non-UK and Ireland) player in our history.

Unsurprisingly, the boss was asked about our no.1 in Wednesday’s pre-match press conference and Ole said David’s resilience in his first few years at Old Trafford has helped him become the player he is today.
“He's had some fantastic seasons here now and next year is his 10th,”
said Ole.

“I think he's proven [former goalkeeping coach] Eric Steele right, that we believed in him. He had a little bit of a tough ride early on, with the physicality of football in England, but, for me, he has been the best goalkeeper in the world over the last nine or 10 years.

“Just to work with him closely, you see he's still keen to learn, he's still working hard. Richard [Hartis] coming in with Craig [Mawson] as the coaches, I think they've reignited a little bit of a spark in David and he's working really hard in training.”
A win at Villa Park would move us to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester City, following the Foxes’ 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Tuesday.

With United set to meet Brendan Rodgers’s men on the final day of the season, that means the Reds know, if we win each of our remaining games, we would guarantee a spot in next season’s Champions League.

“You never know what is going to happen,”
said Ole.
“But there are so many games. We just focus on this one, the next one and that one and know, if we win every single one of them, we are in the top four.

“We cannot rely on help from anyone else, we just have to do it ourselves. That’s to grow as a team and know that, going into next season, we can put a different challenge to other teams as well, that are in front of us.

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The Reds are also looking to extend our 16-game unbeaten run in all competitions when we take on Villa this week.

“As a footballer, you know you can’t just pick out your confidence from the fridge,” Ole told reporters.

“You have to get it from what you do every day in training, but the results, they matter. The last 16 games unbeaten, which gives us more confidence, but 16 games is nowhere near where what a Manchester United team should strive towards.

“So we can still go many games unbeaten if we focus on the right things, if we do focus on the next one, the next one, the next one and then, suddenly, you’re stood there with 16. That's what we've done, so hopefully that can continue.”

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