Fergie backs goalkeeper De Gea
An £18million summer signing from Atletico Madrid, 20-year-old De Gea has endured a difficult start to life at Manchester United. Ferguson had to defend the Spain Under-21 star for his performance in the Community Shield at Wembley. But while an argument on De Gea's behalf could be made over Manchester City's two goals, there was nothing anyone could say to lessen the impact of an error that gifted West Brom an equaliser in the opening game of the season. Since then, things have got better for De Gea. He kept a clean sheet against Tottenham on his competitive Old Trafford bow, then contributed an excellent penalty save to the astonishing 8-2 win over Arsenal, even if Theo Walcott's goal did fly through his legs. Next up are Bolton, who may no longer be quite as abrasive as before under the stewardship of Owen Coyle but, with Kevin Davies leading their attack, are well capable of making life very difficult for De Gea. "David made a couple of mistakes in his first games, which we didn't expect and nor did he," Ferguson told Inside United. "It was unusual because his form at Atletico Madrid as an 18-year-old was sensational. "There is no doubt we have a player of great potential. Our job at this club is to realise that potential and make sure he becomes a top goalkeeper. "He'll do that once he gains experience and adapts to the physical nature of the league. "It is a different game here compared to Spain - there are more crosses to deal with and there is more contact. Bit by bit, we will get there with him." Ferguson's comments could have been made with Bolton in mind. However the same things might have been said about Javier Hernandez 12 months ago and the little Mexican did not do too badly in his debut season. Hernandez was among those who did not find the target during that Gunners' destruction. However, with Danny Welbeck ruled out by a hamstring injury, the 23-year-old seems set to make his first start of the season at the Reebok Stadium. And strike partner Wayne Rooney is among those expecting big things. "I'm looking forward to him doing the same, if not scoring more goals for us, this season," Rooney told MUTV. "Of course people know about him now but, if you look at all the top players around the world, people know how they play and it's still difficult to stop them. "His movement is so good it's difficult to defend against. It won't be easy for players to defend against him whether they know about him or not. "It's great to have a lad who has just come into the team, who speaks good English and is always smiling." With a Champions League bow against Benfica looming in Lisbon next week, United changes are inevitable. Little wonder Ferguson is delighted fellow countryman Darren Fletcher was able to get a couple of appearances under his belt for Scotland - missing a penalty in the win over Lithuania last night - after spending nearly six months recovering from a virus that saw him lose a huge amount of weight. "It was important for him to get a game," Ferguson told Sky Sports News. "He was back training with us but the team had started so well so opportunities hadn't arisen for him before he went to play for Scotland. "The fact that he has gone there and done so well is a major boost for his recovery."