David de Gea says Manchester United must stay calm if they are going to challenge for the Premier League title this season.
United’s 1-0 win over Wolves at Old Trafford on Tuesday moved them into second place – two points behind leaders Liverpool – and stretched their unbeaten run in the league to nine matches.
Since losing to Arsenal in November, United have taken 23 points from a possible 27 and are as close as they have been to the top of the table at this stage of the season since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side host high-flying Aston Villa on New Year’s Day – live on Sky Sports – when their potential title credentials will again be assessed, but De Gea is refusing to get carried away.
“We need to be calm. There are still a lot of games to play, big games, and we have the cups as well so there are many, many games,” De Gea told MUTV.
“We have to stay focused and not look forward too much but just look to the next game. So, Aston Villa is the most important thing now.
“We have to be ready for Aston Villa now and recover because this was a hard game.
“The players have to recover very well because they had to run a lot and have played a lot of games, so recovering well is one of the most important things.”
Marcus Rashford’s 93rd-minute winner secured the three points against Wolves in what was United’s third home win in the league this season.
It was also United’s latest Old Trafford victory since Michael Owen’s derby decider against Manchester City in 2009.
“It was a massive win. To score at the end of the game, a tight game against a good team, this is the way to be at the top of the league,” De Gea said.
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“Wolves are a very good team. They defend well, they counter-attack and they have players up front with pace. It was tight.
“They had some chances but so did we, and scoring in the last minutes is always good. So we get the three points and that is massive for us.
“You have to fight until the end. You have to go until the end and we showed again today if you keep believing and keep trying, we can score winning goals like we did. It was a big performance from the whole team.”
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