DESPERATE times call for desperate measures and David de Gea has revealed that David Moyes' struggling squad have been putting in overtime in an attempt to halt Manchester United's decline.
Three consecutive defeats for the reigning Premier League champions rang alarm bells all over Old Trafford and there is now a real concern about United's position in the table, seventh and 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and the danger of missing out on Champions League qualification.
Spanish goalkeeper De Gea revealed that the players are feeling the fans' pain and have responded by staying behind after training sessions to try to improve.
"We frequently stay after training to practice crossing and finishing. We do it especially when there are no matches in the following days and I think the extra training helps me and the other players to improve."
De Gea has teamed up with Mexican striker Javier Hernandez to try to improve each other.
He added: "We help each other – he tries to make it difficult for me and I try to make it difficult for him. We always do our best and he's a player who gives his all in training.
"He is one of the most professional players I have known over the course of my career. He is truly a great player and a good friend."
United slipped to a third successive defeat for the first time in almost 13 years when they lost 2-1 at Sunderland in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final tie on Tuesday evening.
That defeat, coupled with their FA Cup third round exit at the hands of Swansea and the fact they face the Welsh outfit once again in the Premier League at the weekend is a growing cause for concern for manager David Moyes and the reigning champions.
But De Gea believes that United's struggles will be buoyed by the support they've been given from the stands despite the worrying form on the pitch.
"I've been amazed by the love and support from the fans," he said. "I'm really grateful for the support and when the fans are behind us it helps us to perform well, to rally in big matches and to be successful.
"It's impossible to put into words. You have to live that kind of feeling rather than describe it. It's so special. To play on a pitch like that with the stands full and everyone behind you is magnificent. It's a dream.
"It's important to be calm and relaxed but to take your responsibilities seriously," De Gea explained.
"It's important to always do the right thing so that anyone who does look up to you would be proud of how you carry yourself."