Spain coach backs De Gea, tells critics to give him 'time and oxygen'

Reuters , Monday 18 Jun 2018,
Views:1323
Spain
Spain's David De Gea (Photo: REUTERS)

Spain's under-pressure goalkeeper David de Gea has the backing of coach Fernando Hierro, who said he will stick by him for his side's next game against Iran on Wednesday despite his performance in the 3-3 draw with Portugal.

The Manchester United keeper let a tame shot from Cristiano Ronaldo through his arms for Portugal's second goal on Friday and has been criticised in Spain for his badly positioned defensive wall when Ronaldo struck the late equaliser.

"We have our full confidence in him, I know very clearly from experience that footballers need to feel confidence, not just in the good times," Spain's interim coach Hierro told reporters on Monday at the team's base in Krasnodar.

De Gea has repeatedly got his club out of jail and was voted player of the year at United last season. But he has made costly errors in three of his last four outings for Spain, also letting in cheap goals against Switzerland and Argentina.

"He's had difficult moments but you can get over everything with time. Goalkeepers have a special psychology, and sometimes action-reaction is not enough. De Gea needs time and oxygen," added Hierro.

"All players need confidence and I'm going to give that to them. De Gea has taken everything naturally, we have to get used to debate because it's part of the job. No-one has given him anything for free, and we need to be fair with him."

Midfielder Isco also gave his backing to Spain's number one, who for now is fending off competition from Athletic Bilbao's Kepa Arrizabalaga and veteran keeper Pepe Reina.

"De Gea is one of the best in the world, he knows how to react, and we are showing him a lot of love," Isco said.

"We have to help him because he helps us a lot, and that's what this group is all about."

A former Spain defender and until last week the Spanish football federation's director of football, Hierro has been catapulted into the unexpected position of head coach after Julen Lopetegui was sensationally sacked last Wednesday for negotiating a move to Real Madrid on the eve of the tournament.

"I came here in a suit and I’m going to return in a tracksuit," added Hierro.

"I was the sporting director but things are how they are, and in football things like this happen. Due to these circumstances I have a fantastic challenge, a challenge I’m working on all day every day."

(For more sports news and updates and a special World Cup 2018 coverage, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports )

Short link:

 

ADD COMMENT

 
 
 
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.