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David De Gea: Manchester United players need to find trophy ambition

Get full postmatch analysis after Manchester United's thrilling triumph against Tottenham thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick.

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea said it was difficult to find words to describe the side’s exit from the UEFA Champions League at the Round of 16 stage, but he sure found some good ones in an interview with Paramount’s Peter Schmeichel, the former Red Devils goalkeeper.

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“I feel very sad for us, for the fans,” said the 31-year-old Spaniard. “The atmosphere was unbelievable. We weren’t enough to beat Atletico in both games. It’s difficult to put the words to say how I feel.”

Pressed on what was wrong with Manchester United, and whether the changes at Old Trafford and uncertainty in leadership were costing the club, De Gea did not shy away from the hard words.

What did David De Gea say about the uncertainty at Manchester United?

“For sure there are many things wrong with the club,” De Gea said, later adding that “It wasn’t good. We tried until the end but it wasn’t enough.”

Vowing to fight for the top four until the final day, De Gea also expressed consternation that the club appears content to hit the top four and not win titles.

And it’s not simply about interim manager Ralf Rangnick and who the club will choose to replace him.

“At the end the players are the ones who are on the pitch and have to score the goals,” De Gea said. “It’s maybe probably not a good situation for us but it’s not just this year, it’s many, many years. It’s a strange situation. ...We probably have to have the right ideas of what we want, if we want to be a successful team and fight for trophies or we want to just fight for top four and go to this stage. We have to be much clearer.”

He’s not wrong, and this is a man who does have a Premier League title and a Europa League crown in his Man United locker, as well as another UEL title from his time at Atletico Madrid. De Gea’s fought through his down days and deserves better than what United’s done and put in front of him.

Follow @NicholasMendola