De Gea explains what improvements he has seen in Manchester United's play

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has explained what improvements he has seen in United's play recently.

David De Gea says he can see the improvements Manchester United are making on the training ground are starting to show on the pitch.

The United stopper has the best view of the tactical set-up of the side of anybody in the team and he believes the work they are putting in on the training ground is starting to pay off.

De Gea says the side have been working hard to become a far tougher side to create chances against and he feels they have been successful at doing this in recent weeks. 

"Yes, having an overview of the whole pitch makes it easy for me to see that we are more compact and are making it very difficult for other teams to create opportunities to score," he told United's official site.

"I feel we have some of the best strikers in the world playing for us – we just need to take our chances and reap the rewards of the opportunities we’re creating. Goals win games and winning games gets us points and we need to keep picking up more."

The stats, however, don't quite back-up De Gea's opinion that they are stopping opposition teams from creating shots. 

  MatchShots against
Man Utd First six games 10.3
Man Utd Last five games 10

Although there has been an improvement, it is very slight, and hardly one which would have been noticeable for De Gea.

He will still feel overworked playing behind a particularly porous United backline and unless the side sort out their defensive issues then they are likely to fall short of their expectations this season.

United have been tasked with returning to the top-four after a dire showing during the last campaign, but they have not collected points at a good enough rate to break into the Champions League spots. 

Their lofty positon in the table so far actually owes more to other teams struggles rather than their own brilliance, and their need to improve is obvious.

At the moment the side are in seventh position in the Premier League - two points off the top-four spots - and only a good run of form will see them breach that gap. 

United have one of the strongest squads in the division, but they are not playing to their maximum potential and it will be important that Van Gaal works hard over the international break to correct the faults in their team. 

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch