Award would be glovely for De Gea

WI­GAN v MANCH­ESTER UNITED Kick-off 7.45pm

Midweek Sport - - THURSDAY APRIL 12 - By NEIL JOHN­STON

SIR ALEX FER­GU­SON is back­ing David de Gea to plunge the final dag­ger into the hearts of Man City.

United have al­ready left City on the ropes af­ter open­ing up an eight-point lead at the top of the ta­ble.

Now Spa­niard De Gea is push­ing City’s Joe Hart for the cov­eted Golden Glove – the award for the keeper with most top-flight clean sheets.

It would cap a re­mark­able turn around in for­tunes should De Gea mark his de­but cam­paign with the ti­tle and Golden Glove gong.

The 21-year-old was ridiculed ear­lier in the sea­son for a string of er­rors and was even axed by Fer­gu­son for a spell.

But the £18.9mil­lion sign­ing from Atletico Madrid last sum­mer, who con­ceded six goals against City at Old Traf­ford last Oc­to­ber, is on now course for a unique dou­ble.

Fan­tas­tic

De Gea is cur­rently on 10 shut-outs – three be­hind leader Hart with six games re­main­ing.

But, while stut­ter­ing City have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five league games, De Gea hasn’t been beaten for seven hours and 33 min­utes.

Tot­ten­ham’s Jer­main Defoe was the last player to score against United in the league on March 4.

Since then De Gea has kept clean sheets against West Brom, Wolves, Ful­ham, Black­burn and QPR.

And Fer­gu­son wants Ed­win van der Sar’s re­place­ment to cap the cam­paign by se­cur­ing the Golden Glove.

The United boss said: “David’s been fan­tas­tic. His con­fi­dence is high and ev­ery game he is get­ting bet­ter.

“He found it tough at first and he made mis­takes, but you for­give play­ers mak­ing mis­takes at 21.”

Fergie is due to make changes at strug­gling Wi­gan tonight as United chase a ninth straight league win. Mid­fielder Tom Cleverley could start against the club where he spent last sea­son on loan, while Ryan Giggs is also poised to re­turn.

Lat­ics boss Roberto Martinez claims he won’t be happy with a point against United – de­spite los­ing ev­ery time they’ve played the cham­pi­ons.

The Spa­niard’s side have lost on all 14 oc­ca­sions have met Fergie’s team.

But Martinez be­lieves at­tack is the best pol­icy tonight.

Pres­sure

“We’ll chase the win if it’s 1-1 in the 85th minute,” he said.

“We’re not a team that re­ally wants to soak up pres­sure, be de­fen­sive and hope for a win.

“We want to go for a win from start to fin­ish and that men­tal­ity helps you win foot­ball matches.

“We’re not go­ing to change that. There is a real be­lief we can win matches even in the last minute.

“Get­ting three points in­stead of one makes a big dif­fer­ence.”

AT­TACK-MINDED: Martinez GOLDEN BOY: Fergie

reck­ons David de Gea could yet nick the Golden Glove

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