David de Gea believes Manchester United’s new-found defensive steel will be strong enough to put a dent in Manchester City’s title challenge in next week’s derby. City visit Old Trafford in nine days’ time (January 14) just over three months since rattling six past them at the Etihad in the season’s first fight for bragging rights.
But after a fourth clean sheet in a row against Bournemouth and no league goals conceded at home since October, De Gea waved a red rag at the City bull and challenged them to charge. Asked about defending a clean sheet record in the league stretching back four months against Erling Haaland and co, De Gea said he was optimistic.
“That’s how it should be to come here - it should be a tough place for the teams. Let’s see in the future. We are playing really well, we have to keep the momentum as much as we can,” he said.
“Everyone is ready, everyone is focused, everyone is training really well. Everyone is in the same direction, so this is massive.”
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“He brought a great spirit to the team, we are playing really well and this is the way we have to show and keep the momentum as well. It doesn’t matter who is playing.
“Even the subs today, it doesn’t matter who came in, they put everything on the pitch, we have great team spirit and for me it’s great to see the players play in this way.” De Gea said talks on his own future look likely to “end in a good way” with him staying for the rest of his career.
“I hope so. I was saying this is my club,” he said. “I’ve been here many, many years and it’s a huge honour to be here and I’m so happy here.”