Ole Gunnar Solskjær backs ‘mentally strong’ David de Gea

Manchester United manager says he is focusing on preparing team to face West Ham

Chelsea’s Mason Mount celebrates scoring his side’s second goal as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea reacts during the FA Cup semi final. Photo: Andy Rain/Getty Images

Chelsea’s Mason Mount celebrates scoring his side’s second goal as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea reacts during the FA Cup semi final. Photo: Andy Rain/Getty Images

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has insisted David de Gea is “mentally strong” following the goalkeeper’s latest error in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat but refused to discuss his No 1 in depth to avoid increasing pressure on him.

De Gea’s soft hands were at fault for Mason Mount’s second goal in Chelsea’s 3-1 win and he might also have done better for Olivier Giroud’s opener, when he failed to repel a close-range effort. The Spaniard has also made mistakes in other matches.

Bournemouth’s Junior Stanislas and Tottenham’s Steven Bergwijn each beat De Gea with efforts that might have been stopped since the Premier League’s restart.

If United take four points from games at home to West Ham on Wednesday and at Leicester on Sunday they are guaranteed a Champions League berth. The manager refused to be drawn regarding whether De Gea is undermining his side.

“That’s your job to talk about and write about and my job is to prepare a team for West Ham,” he said. “That is what we are doing, just focusing on that one. We’re not going to talk about individuals because no one here is going to feel that we put more pressure on them.

“This is not going to become a David de Gea press conference. We’re just going to stick together. We have got two games and we are just going to focus on them. David’s mentally strong enough to know that his job is to perform in training the next day and then be ready for the games.”

Eric Bailly suffered a head injury on Sunday and is almost certainly unavailable for West Ham. “Eric stayed down in London for all the checks, he’s done all the checks, I didn’t see him yesterday and [he] followed the protocols that are needed,” Solskjær said. “I don’t think he’ll be ready for this game. I’ve not seen him this morning yet. Everyone is available apart from that.” – Guardian

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