Fergie wants De Gea protected

United boss calls on officials to keep a close eye on his keeper

De Gea: Could come in for some rough treatment against Bolton this weekend

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping David de Gea will be protected from any rough treatment Bolton are planning this Saturday.

The Trotters have moved away from the direct approach that epitomised them in the past, but they remain a physically imposing outfit.

Ferguson is aware of that fact and is expecting Owen Coyle's men to give his side a tough time at the Reebok Stadium this weekend.

Keen to ensure that no-one steps over the mark, the United chief has called on referee Andre Marriner and his team of officials to keep a close eye on proceedings.

He is especially keen to make sure that Premier League rookie De Gea is looked after, with clubs having already targeted him this season.

The Spaniard was given a rough ride at West Brom in the Red Devils' opening fixture, as he struggled under the high ball, and Ferguson is keen to avoid a repeat of events at The Hawthorns.

Challenge

"He is bound to get better protection than he did against West Brom," said the Scot.

"There is nothing wrong with that. That is part of the challenge.

"Each game that comes along is a new experience for him.

"He actually did very well at West Brom in the sense of dealing with it but he didn't get the protection from the referee at the time.

"We expect him to get better protection than that."