De Gea motivated by critics
Doubters made goalkeeper a 'stronger person'
Last Updated: March 7, 2012 5:05pm
David de Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper knows he received 'one or two bits of criticism'
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was transformed into a tougher character by his critics earlier in the season.
After an extensive search, Sir Alex Ferguson selected the 21-year-old former Atletico Madrid man to replace Edwin van der Sar when the Dutchman quit at the end of last season.
Ferguson must have known the settling-in process would not be easy having experienced such massive difficulties in trying to find someone to take Peter Schmeichel's place in 1999.
However, De Gea was not helped by his slight frame, which left him vulnerable to aerial challenges and led doubters to suggest he was a flop signing.
But ahead of renewing a rivalry with Spanish opposition in the form of Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League, De Gea said: "I did receive one or two bits of criticism at the start of the season.
"But it only served to make me a stronger person.
"It encouraged me to keep fighting and keep working hard. The important thing is not to let yourself get down, because you can turn it around.
"Through hard work, I have waited for my chance and grabbed it.
"Fortunately now I am showing some good form. I hope this can continue right the way through until the end of the campaign."