We’ve seen the club statement on Marcus Rashford which says he’s out for a few games. Does that mean he’s potentially back for the FA Cup semi-final?
It’s a few games. That’s the statement. So I can’t give more details of it, we don’t know, we’ll have to see.
What about any other injury news? Shaw? Garnacho? Will they be available for tomorrow?
No, both not available.
A few games?
Yeh. The injury to Garnacho is more severe but Luke Shaw I expect to be back in short notice.
You’ve waited a long time for Anthony Martial to come back. Is there a concern with Marcus now out that you’ll need to rely on him more than you wanted to, given he’s been out for so long with injury?
No. We don’t have to force things. We’re careful, of course. The frontline against Brentford and Everton worked really well. We were continually a threat and it was difficult to defend for the opponent.
Is Martial under consideration to start for tomorrow night’s game?
I think he is ready to start the game. But as I said, the frontline against Brentford did really well, and we decided to continue that against Everton and they again did very well. The advantage was we could bring Anthony Martial back slowly but in the team, give him minutes, get him used to playing at the highest level, and higher intensity. But I think Everton showed he’s ready to start again.
David, you’re approaching 12 years at Manchester United now. You’re coming to the end of your contract. Is there any concern you won’t renew or are you expecting to stay?
De Gea: I think it’s time to focus on games because we play many games in a row, so it’s not the time to lose focus and think about contracts. My mind is ready to go and keep playing at my best. That’s where my mind is. Keep going, focus on training and playing games.
With Christian Eriksen coming back, I know when he was injured you spoke of his importance to the team, how much more dangerous are you as a side with him in it?
I think the balance in the midfield was very good with Casemiro, Eriksen and Bruno. When Christian is part of a side with Casemiro, I think the co-operation between those two was really well. Casemiro is a balanced player, the link up player, and Christian Eriksen can support him in the link up but also go to the final part of the game, he creates chances. Key actions, key passes, final passes. So for us he was a really important player. I think he had seven or eight assists in the Premier League that tells the story of how important he is for our front players because he sees the pass and he can give the pass.
You’ve always defended Anthony Martial when he’s constantly in and out. Isn’t this a time for him to really step up? Not play two games then be out for three games? We haven’t seen the best of him for a long time.
You say I defended him but I just point to the stats. The stats are telling you that the moment he is on the pitch the time he needs for a goal is really less. When he is in the team, in games against Man City and Liverpool, we play our best football and have our best results as a team. If you say I defended him, I just point to the stats on how he contributes to this team.
David, you’re top of the Golden Glove list in the Premier League. When there’s criticism of other aspects of your game, do stats like that bother you, like distribution, you’ve got stats in front of your like clean sheets, what’s more important to you?
De Gea: Of course, for me, when the team keeps a clean sheet that is the most. It means the team and I did a good job, but the criticism is always there. You cannot please everyone. I always try my best, I always try to keep the ball out of the net, try to keep clean sheets. We have the most clean sheets in Europe so I think we are doing good job together, and for me, the most important thing is keeping clean sheets and helping the team to do it.
You’ve talked about the team defending. Is that a big part of that this season? And obviously a chance for rotation again tomorrow night, with Harry Maguire, is he in contention to start the game tomorrow night ahead of Varane?
I think for every game he is in contention because he’s a very good player. We have seen on Saturday how good he is in the team. He’s always in contention. We have more, I am happy with how my team is defending. We are defending with eleven and we have a great goalie. That gives us so many clean sheets and we are happy with that. But we have to do it every game. We have to keep the discipline in defending, in pressing, in the defensive transition, in defending the set plays, and I think we are making good progress. But we have to keep that progress of process going because we are not satisfied. We want to do more. And we know if you want to win leagues and win competitions, clean sheets is always the base of it.
I wanted to ask about the development of Sabitzer. How do you see him and could he possibly be a long-term United player? Do you think about signing him over the summer?
He’s doing fantastic. He’s really well adjusted to Manchester United and to the Premier League. As a person, he’s a great person and he really suits us well in the dressing room and in the game. He’s an intelligent player and we are happy with the role he takes in this moment.
You spoke about Christian Eriksen before. We have Sabitzer and Scott McTominay play, but will his return push Bruno further forward again?
We want to play dynamic. We want to surprise opponents and make it difficult to read our game. We want to defend with eleven players and we want to attack with eleven players. That is what we have to do without giving away big moments or chances in defending transitions. So we work on all our game every day. We have to improve every game.
David, you recently broke the record for the most clean sheets in our club’s history. How does it feel to be in such esteemed company, beating Peter Schmeichel’s record? How does it make you feel?
De Gea: It means I’ve been here for a long time doing well. Beating the record of one of the best in the business like Schmeichel makes me so proud. Now it’s a moment to get more clean sheets and still improve and do even better. When we are keeping clean sheets we are closer to winning big things.
Sevilla are not having the best season in La Liga but like Real Madrid in the Champions League, Sevilla are the kings of the Europa League, so how wary of them are you and what are you expecting of them tomorrow?
Your question already tells the answer, because they have a big reputation winning the Europa League. They won the Europa League the most of all clubs so that is a magnificent record, so we have to be aware of it, because that is their target. We are sure they are 100% motivated to go again. So if we want to beat them, we have to play our best football. Everyone has to deliver their best performance. When you don’t do it there’s a problem. We are fully focussed and fully prepared for this game.
David, you’ve been here for a long time now with many ups and downs. Does it feel different this season? You’ve already won a trophy. There’s a general feeling amongst fans that they’ve got their United back. Do you feel like this is different?
De Gea: Yeh, probably. I think the manager brings the winning mentality. I think some players bring this as well, this winning mentality. I think we are in the right way, for sure. We are playing really good football, winning big games, we’ve already won one cup, which I know isn’t enough, but we are in a good way and we are all enjoying. The dressing room is really close together, the players are giving 100% in training and in the games, and everyone is enjoying playing for the club. We are still in three competitions this season and we have a lot to play but I think we are in the right way.
Antony played well against Everton but he still hasn’t scored in the Premier League since October and has no Premier League assists. Did you expect more from him given how much he cost? And what is doing about trying to improve his goal tally?
Of course, we expect from our players that they’re not only a threat but they have an effect on the final thing, and he has to work on that. But I think when you see his record, he’s not scoring in the Premier League, but he did score a really important goal against Betis after half-time, he did score against Barcelona, the winner. You cannot say they are not big games. He’s also scored in cup games. So if you can do it in such games you can also do it in Premier Leagues, so I don’t have a concern about that. But like many more players, we have to step up, and he has to step up as well, we have to win games together. That is my experience of him. When he is in the team, he’s a fighter, he likes chances, with him in the team the team is winning. He’s also in the Seleção, and selected in the Seleção to play in the starting XI. He’s still a very young player, he can kill opponents, you can see on Saturday against Everton when the manager at half-time brings on another player because he is killing the left full-back. He is able to do it. But for him, what counts is doing it every game, and he’s capable of doing it.
Just coming back to Marcus, he’s really enjoying his football this season, he’s in the form of his life. How’s he taken the news that he will be out for a while and what can you do to keep his spirits up?
Of course, it’s a set back and he’s disappointed about it, but he’s not totally broke, because he knows he will return quickly, so he’s optimistic. He’s started straight on his recovery and his rehab, so that helps to get back soon.