Wayne Rooney has given his forceful backing to Manchester United’s goalkeeper, David de Gea.
The young Spanish shot stopper has had a rollercoaster season, during which errors have reportedly led manager Alex Ferguson to question his longevity at the club.
Recent clangers against Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton have meant the knives were out for de Gea, who remains and agile athlete between the sticks, but has a questionable appetite for meaty confrontations with Premier League hard-men.
However, de Gea was in suddenly sparkling form during United’s hugely important win over Fulham at the weekend.
The Red Devils laboured to a 1-0 victory thanks to Rooney’s goal. But had it not been for de Gea’s display, the result could have been very different.
And so Rooney believes de Gea needs to be cut some slack, and suggests that the former Atletico Madrid man has a long future at Old Trafford.
"David has made some great saves over the last few weeks," Rooney said.
"I know he got a little bit of criticism after the Tottenham game but it wasn't the biggest mistake I've ever seen.
"We're all behind him. He's a great player for the future as well."
United defender Jonny Evans added: "People underestimate the reflexes he's got.
"We are used to seeing him do that. His shot-stopping ability is very good and his save from (John Arne) Riise was excellent."