David de Gea relishing Man Utd challenge after coronavirus break halted momentum

David de Gea is relishing the challenge of helping maintain Manchester United's impressive run when football eventually resumes.

When football was suspended on March 13, a day after United's 5-0 Europa League rout away to LASK Linz, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were on a formidable run of form.

After a rocky start to the season, the Reds were unbeaten in 11 games in all competitions, including eight wins and three draws, scoring 29 goals and conceding just two.

Momentum was with United, who had moved up to fifth in the Premier League in their quest for a Champions League spot and were also still in the hunt for FA Cup and Europa League glory.

Although De Gea admitted the halting of the season could not have come at a worse time for United, he acknowledged the bigger picture is the ongoing fight against the spread of coronavirus.

United's No.1 goalkeeper also said Solskjaer's team could ultimately be in an ever better position when games resume, with big players like Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford on their way back from injury.

Reflecting on United's run before football's enforced break, de Gea said: “I think the whole team improved a lot. We were in a good moment, top form, we didn't concede many goals.

“And of course, with Bruno [Fernandes], he brings a lot of quality. He's a clever player, a top midfielder, so the team improved with him.

“It was a pity that everything stopped, because we were in a good moment, but hopefully, with some players who were injured, they will be fit when everything starts again.

“So it's going to be a good challenge for everyone.”

Reflecting on the lockdown, De Gea, 29, admitted it had been hard adapting from his usual training routine, with team-mated and United's goalkeeping staff, to working alone at home.

“It's something special to always be at home,” said De Gea. “But I think now the most important thing is the health of the people, in Spain and here in England as well.

“So, while it's a bit strange, we need to keep doing some things at home, to keep training, to keep fit, for when we get back, but it's a bit strange.”

Spain has implemented some of the strictest lockdown measures in Europe, but De Gea revealed his family and friends back home are safe amid the backdrop of the virus.

“My family is very good,” said De Gea. “At the moment, all my friends and family are all good, but there are a lot of people who are in a difficult situation with the virus and with everything.

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