Sport

Don’t crumble under media pressure: Roy Carroll ‘sorry for’ mistake-prone Manchester United keeper David De Gea

By Alex Bysouth

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll has defended current Red Devils number one David De Gea over recent criticism fired at the Spaniard.

Carroll, now playing for Greek giants Olympiakos, believes Sir Alex Ferguson will stand by the 22-year-old despite speculation United are in the market for another keeper.

And the 35-year-old Northern Irishman sympathised with De Gea, admitting goalkeepers mistakes are often scrutinised by the press.

“You need the manager’s backing and I think he’s got that because he’s played a lot of games since he’s come in,” Carroll told the BBC.

“Once you make mistakes people just never forget about it so I think as a young goalkeeper it’s very hard – I feel very sorry for him.

“Manchester United are one of the biggest teams in the world and if you make mistakes the press are always on your case all the time – that’s what happens at a big club like Manchester United.”

De Gea is part of a United side who sit top of the Premier League and Carroll – who spent four years at Old Trafford – believes in the youngster’s potential.

“I had four years there but I made a lot of mistakes as well,” he explained. “He’s a very good keeper, he’s still young.

“There have been a lot of changes at Manchester United across the back four this season with injuries so I think it’s very difficult for him at the moment.”

De Gea joined the Red Devils for £18million in 2011 from La Liga side Atletico Madrid, but United have been consistently linked to targets such as Barcelona’s Victor Valdes this window.

Rumours Ferguson was ready to dip into the market were fuelled after De Gea failed to clear in the build-up to Tottenham Hotspur’s equaliser on Sunday.

But Carroll feels the Spaniard produced a solid display, although confessed there is still room for improvement in his game.

“I think he had a decent game against Spurs but the goal came from a cross,” he said.

“You have to be a lot stronger from crosses. I think he knows that himself. His shot stopping is fantastic but he knows he has to work harder from crosses.”

Image courtesy of Yahoo UK video, with thanks

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