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The 22-year-old goalkeeper says that the Scot is "very paternalistic" toward his players and admits that he has been confused by the criticism directed towards him this season

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea says that Sir Alex Ferguson has acted "like a father" to him at Old Trafford.

The 22-year-old, who arrived from Atletico Madrid in June 2011, has faced criticism over some of his performances this season, while the Red Devils boss has consistently backed the Spaniard in the media.

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When asked about the comparisons between Sir Alex and Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, De Gea told AS: "They are two great coaches and everyone has their own things but yes, the two are very paternalistic.

"I know Ferguson a little more and he is like a father, especially for young people."

De Gea admits that he is baffled by the criticism that he has faced this term but insists that he is happy to remain at Old Trafford.

"The truth is that many times the criticism does not make much sense but I prefer not to pay much attention and keep training and keep playing," he added.

"I have three years left on my contract and the truth is I'm very happy, it's a great club and when you're a part of it you realise how big it is."

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