Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has backed under-fire David de Gea, with the goalkeeper struggling for consistency since joining the club in 2011.
The 22-year-old had the blame laid at his feet after the club dropped valuable points in their failed Premier League title challenge last season - losing his place to second-choice Anders Lindegaard in the process.
MANCHESTER UNITED LATEST
Manchester United are 13/2 to keep a clean sheet against Real Madrid with Coral
But De Gea, who joined the club from Atletico Madrid, is now set to for his fiercest challenge yet in the form of Real Madrid and his manager has praised the youngster’s progression this campaign.
"David has shown his character because he has taken a lot of criticism, sometimes unfairly," Sir Alex told reporters.
"Of course when you arrive at a new club it is normal there will be low points," he said. "The important thing is to learn from them and improve. I know I am much better than when I first arrived at Manchester United.
"What we are good at is developing people. He came to us as a very young man, not used to the English game and unable to speak the language.
"Also he was still to mature physically. But it's like a young kid taking his first steps forward, he wobbles, then gets up, wobbles, then gets up again and eventually he walks. The boy is walking now."