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It didn't cross my mind to drop De Gea - Ole

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400th appearance: David de Gea. Photo: via Getty Images

400th appearance: David de Gea. Photo: via Getty Images

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400th appearance: David de Gea. Photo: via Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has given David De Gea his backing despite an inconsistent season as the goalkeeper prepares to make his 400th appearance for Manchester United against Southampton tonight.

Asked if he had ever considered dropping De Gea, Solskjaer said: "It did not cross my mind for one second. To be a Man United goalkeeper you have to have a strong mentality.

"David has a strong mentality ... I didn't see any good in taking him out at all, no."

Solskjaer, whose side have gone 17 games unbeaten in all competitions and are just one point behind fourth-placed Leicester City, added: "He has been fantastic since I have been here.

"[He could] maybe [play for] 10 more years, how long will he be able to stay at the top is just up to him.

"Four hundred games, two more than Pete [Schmeichel]. He's won the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Europa League, the League Cup, but that is probably not enough for him. I don't think he will be happy until he wins the bigger trophies."

Support has also come from Schmeichel, who believes De Gea has to adjust to the fact United are simply a far better team now, which brings challenges for a goalkeeper.

"He's been fantastic since he came to the club," Schmeichel told United Review, the official Manchester United match-day programme.

"David's role is changing. If you're a goalkeeper that has been busy for years, and now you're not busy, you need to find new ways of keeping your concentration."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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