Premier League: David de Gea ‘mentally strong enough’ to overcome FA Cup semi-final errors, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea from criticism after the latter's mistakes cost them the semi-final against Chelsea.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is mentally strong enough to overcome his errors in their FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea and the club will not put additional pressure on the Spaniard, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Tuesday.
De Gea, 29, was at fault for Olivier Giroud’s opener in the first half on Sunday and allowed Mason Mount’s shot to squirm through him and into the net after the restart as United lost 3-1 to crash out of the competition.
The mistakes have prompted calls for De Gea to be dropped.
But Solskjaer said United, who are chasing a top four Premier League finish to seal European qualification, had to focus on Wednesday’s clash against West Ham United.
“This isn’t going to become a De Gea press conference, we’re just going to stick together. David is mentally strong enough to know his job is to perform in training and be ready for games,” Solskjaer told reporters.
“We’ve had setbacks as a club, we’ve lost big games before and turned it round and put a big performance on. That is what we have to do now ... we’re not going to talk about individuals because no one here will feel we put more pressure on them.”
United, who are fifth in the table with 62 points, can go three points ahead of fourth-placed Leicester City before the two teams meet in the final game of the season on Sunday.
But Solskjaer expects a tough test against West Ham under former United boss David Moyes, with the London club looking to win three games in a row.
“David’s a fantastic manager and I know it’s going to be a difficult game, they’ve had some fantastic wins against Norwich, Watford, Chelsea and they’ve secured their place, he’s doing a fantastic job,” Solskjaer added.
“If we can get through unbeaten that’s the Champions League next year, all eyes are on West Ham, we know their threats.”
It was Liverpool's biggest win against United since 1925 and moved them seven points clear of Solskjaer's side in the Premier League table.
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Sancho has struggled as his role has been constantly changed and Solskjaer's lack of clarity has also badly impacted the performance of the United team.