De Gea thanks fans for support
David de Gea is taking a sense of satisfaction just from being mentioned amongst the candidates to be Manchester United's player of the year.
De Gea endured a nightmare start to his United career, which ended in him being dropped by Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of 2012, and had it not been for the ankle injury that threatens to keep Anders Lindegaard out for the remainder of the season, De Gea might never have got his place back.
But he has been one of the cornerstones of United surge to the Premier League summit, leading to suggestions he may be crowned player of the year by the club's fans, and he said: "It is nice to know supporters are voting me."
His nomination was an unthinkable prospect three months ago, and De Gea continued: "It is always a positive when the fans are behind you. It is something I can sense when I am on the field and makes me feel more relaxed.
"It is a source of extra motivation when you know the fans are right behind you and rooting for you.
"But all that aside, it is just a case of getting your head down, keep working hard and making sure you do have a continuous improvement all the time."
Jonny Evans has suggested De Gea's inability to speak English was a positive in those early days. Yet leaving for somewhere so different at such a young age may have been part of the problem, along with the weather and the food.
"Before I came, people back home were saying the weather in England is terrible and the food is not much better," he said.
"But I am quite a happy, easy-going kind of guy who likes to have a joke around and, to be totally honest, I like the food, the weather has not been so bad either and I am trying to pick up as much English as I can so I can take part in the dressing room banter."
In addition, De Gea has been pushing himself in the weights room, trying to add the additional muscle required in a Premier League goalkeeper.