De Gea confident Man United can cope without Rooney

by Sam Peoples

David de Gea feels Manchester United will be able to cope without the suspended Wayne Rooney for the next three games.

Rooney’s red card against West Ham means he won’t be able to play in the games against Everton, West Brom or Chelsea but with Juan Mata waiting in the wings, De Gea is confident United won’t be badly affected by Rooney’s absence.

Speaking this afternoon, De Gea said: “Of course he’s a really important player for us and he’s the captain but we have other players ready to play these games.

“We have a very important game on Sunday. We won very important points against West Ham with 10 players in a difficult match and if we win against Everton we’ll be in a good position in the table.

“Fletch (Darren Fletcher) is the next captain and I think he will be a great captain.

“Of course it was a red card but Wayne Rooney is a top player and I think he has to keep going.”

De Gea doesn’t name any particular player but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know he is alluding to his compatriot, best friend, neighbour and long term partner Juan Mata.

Mata was the player who Louis van Gaal considered dispensable in order to play Rooney in the No.10 position behind Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, despite the Spaniard’s promising form so far this season.

Now with Rooney suspended, Mata will get the opportunity to prove himself and United fans are excited to see what he can do as he could create so many chances for Van Persie and Falcao if he can find his best form.

De Gea also discussed United’s bad luck with injuries this season and how the team needs to improve defensively: “We have had a lot of injuries this season and it is difficult when you play with a different back four but I think we have a lot of good defenders.

“We have to play well and defend well – we know we have great strikers and midfielders so if we defend well we will win the games.”

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