Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag sticks to his guns over David de Gea

Erik ten Hag exonerated goalkeeper David de Gea after his latest gaffe threw the Champions League hunt wide open with a 1-0 defeat at West Ham – and insisted he still sees him as his long-term No 1. The Spain international’s deal runs out at the end of the season and spilling Said Benrahma’s 27th-minute shot into his net could be one of the final memories he leaves after 12 years at Manchester United.

However, Ten Hag said: “We want him to stay and we want him to extend his contract. He has the most clean sheets in the Premier League and we would not be in this position without him.

“I have no concerns. It happens and as a team you have to deal with it, show resilience and bounce back. We could have made it easier but nothing changes. Everything is in our hands.

“We need to stick together, take individual responsibility and then play as a team to get the results. Tiredness is in your head. If you have the willingness you can take it and it is up to the players, and the coaches to get the belief in there that we can do it.”

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The win lifts West Ham seven points above the drop zone. Declan Rice agreed with his manager David Moyes that there may still be a bit to do and the West Ham skipper explained what staying in the Premier League means for the players.

“As a player, the whole world is watching,” Rice said. “For me, for the lads, you put on the shirt, you go out there and you want to do it – you’re playing against Manchester United – you want to do it and today we did it so I’m buzzing.

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“Sometimes things go for you in football and today it was one of those things. I think that’s our best performance at home this season.

“Front foot, aggressive, strong one-v-one, on the ball – everything today was a really positive performance.”

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