Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Evra backs De Gea

Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra has used the memory of his own tortured Manchester United debut to assure David de Gea not to worry about his transition to the Premier League.

After a couple of shaky performances following his £18million arrival from Atletico Madrid this summer, the 20-year-old was far more composed in Monday night's 3-0 win over Tottenham.

"The goalkeeper's performance was very good," said Evra. "He did well with his feet and everything. The crowd were behind him too, so he should say a big thank you to them. I have been telling him not to worry because English football is not easy."

He added: "I made my debut against Manchester City. It was really difficult. After the first 45 minutes, the manager took me off, told me to sit down, watch English football, and learn.

"Sometimes you have good days. Sometimes you have bad. I am confident because he has a big talent and we are going to help him."

Although he passed his 30th birthday in May, Evra could not have been expecting to take on the role of elder statesman quite so quickly. Yet that is exactly what he was against Spurs - the oldest player in the second youngest Premier League team Ferguson has ever sent out onto the pitch.

That Phil Jones and Jonny Evans were responsible for keeping a clean sheet at one end, whilst Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck were combining to open Tottenham up at the other just made the whole evening even more remarkable.

"Don't say I am old," he grimaced. "It is just amazing. But the young players deserve what they get. You have to give them a lot of credit.

"A lot of people talk about the academies at other clubs but you can see the youngsters we have got and the boss is not afraid to put them in. We know we have a big responsibility. We want to win everything. That is the Manchester United way.

"We have lost a lot of experienced players. But now you can see the team is fresh, with a lot of energy. The football is quick. They have to keep going and the more experienced players have to help."

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