The Independent asserts that Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea ‘came of age’ against Real Madrid in midweek. The Spaniard and former Athletico Madrid youngster had his best performance for United at the Santiago Bernabeu where they held the Spanish champions to a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile, Michael Carrick has urged his teammate Danny Welbeck to forget his lack of goals this season after his excellent performance in Madrid. United’s goalscorer was fantastic and Carrick took the opportunity to give the young Englishman some advice.
“If the team is winning, who is scoring is not such an issue. Danny has all the attributes to be a top player but probably doesn't get the credit he deserves,” explained the United midfielder.
United veteran Ryan Giggs handed some advice of his own to teammate and former England captain Rio Ferdinand. The English centre-back has recently been dropped by England boss Roy Hodgson but Giggs agreed when questioned whether England’s loss is United’s gain.
The Welshman replied,
“I think it is, yes. I don’t think it is something that is affecting Rio, though. We’re just happy that he is playing so well for United. The rest of the stuff we’re not too bothered about as long as he keeps putting in performances like that.”
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson gave credit to a number of his young players. He said in this morning’s press conference:
"We're always patient with young players. You have to show patience. If you think they have the ability then you have to be prepared to wait for that.”
Ferguson also took the opportunity to state his belief that United captain Nemanja Vidic is back to his best.
"Steadily, he's getting there," said Ferguson who hinted that he will likely make changes for United’s clash with Reading in the FA Cup this weekend.
"He was fantastic against Everton and I had my doubts over whether I was doing the right thing or not.
In team news United veteran Paul Scholes is likely to be out for another two weeks with the knee injury that sidelined him for the Red Devil’s trip to Madrid this week.
Ferguson has announced his 22-man squad for United's FA Cup fifth round tie with Reading on Monday evening.
He revealed that they “came through Wednesday’s game without any injuries” and although he insisted they’ll “take nothing for granted” he is expected to rotate some players in and rest others who played in midweek.
The expected starting line-up consists of: De Gea-Jones-Vidic-Smalling-Evra-Anderson-Cleverley-Kagawa-Valencia-Nani-Hernandez with Lindegaard, Da Silva, Evans, Buttner, Ferdinand, Powell, Van Persie, Welbeck, Giggs and Rooney expected to be benched.
In transfer news, The Mirror claims that United will face competition in the form of a ‘fight’ for reported ‘target’ Real Madrid maestro Angel Di Maria. Inter Milan are understood to be chasing the Argentine midfielder this summer with a move to Old Trafford mooted earlier this week.
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