De Gea plans to stay at United

Adam Johnson says it is ‘back to the drawing board’ for

Sunderland as they bid to turn around their flagging fortunes.

Martin O’Neill’s side have been dragged into the relegation

battle following a run of seven matches without a win and are now

just four points clear of the drop zone.

They will attempt to bounce back after the international break

but face a tough challenge at home to Premier League leaders

Manchester United.

However, Johnson insists everyone at the club will keep a

positive mindset, saying in The Sun: “You have to come in and move

forward rather than dwelling on any disappointment you might just

have had.

“If you let bad results affect you going into your next game,

you’d be lost.

“We’ve just got to get ourselves together again, train hard for

the next couple of weeks and then go into the big game.

“We know we have to do better. It’s back to the drawing

board.”

Johnson feels confident that Sunderland will soon rediscover top

form, even though their clash with United is followed by a trip to

Chelsea.

He added: “When things aren’t going well, people get down – the

team, the fans, everything – it’s part of the game.

“A couple of good wins, though, and it changes very quickly and

everyone’s happy again.

“When it goes bad, it can seem that there’s no way out, but

we’ve got a couple of important games coming up and it’s important

not to dwell on what we should have done previously.”

The 22-year-old is enjoying his second season at United

following a 2011 move from Atletico Madrid and has played a key

role in the club’s relentless pursuit of the title in recent

weeks.

He has been mooted as a potential summer replacement for

Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes, but De Gea says he is in no rush to

leave Old Trafford.

“I know things have been said and written but I have a

contract,” De Gea is quoted in The Sun. “I’m very well in

Manchester.

“It is not just my name that appears. At Barca, Valdes is still

the keeper and Madrid is my city, one day I’d like to return.

“But now I hope to stay in Manchester for a long time and win a

lot of titles.”

De Gea also praised the man-management skills of Sir Alex

Ferguson after the United boss helped him to deal with the

criticism which has come his way.

He added: “Sir Alex is more than a manager. He controls

everything in the team. He’s a father for all those who come to the

club. For that he is the best.

“A footballer has to get used to good and bad words.

“At times things are said that don’t make a lot of sense and it

is part of the job to know how to live with that. The best thing is

to know who you are always.”

Meanwhile, De Gea believes that United would have reached the

quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League if Nani had not been

controversially sent off in the second leg against Real Madrid.

He continued: “Sir Alex has a lot of character and on that day

he was very angry, although deep down what he felt more was pride

for his team.

“We were superior to Madrid and deserved more but there were

situations – unfair decisions – and we were knocked out.

“Football is like that and in that type of game details leave

you knocked out. The expulsion of Nani marked the game and the tie.

Without that red card it would be Manchester United in the

quarter-finals.”