Sir Alex Ferguson insists he will back David De Gea for long term success at Manchester United, despite the goalkeeper suffering some setbacks as he gets through his first season in the Premier League.

When Edwin van der Sar retired from United at the end of last season, Ferguson knew it would be a tough ask to find another keeper to fill the Dutch star's shoes. Names including Manuel Neuer and Maarten Stekelenburg were said to be front runners for the position, but the manager went with the young and promising De Gea in the hopes of creating a talent with long term potential.

United knew that the first season would be tough for the 21 year old, particularly with De Gea never having played in the Premier League before. And while he has shown that potential that Ferguson insists is ever present, making some brilliant saves for the side, his mistakes have also been widely documented and were again being discussed as the side lost to Blackburn at the turn of the year.

And while De Gea is now being interchanged with Anders Lindegaard for the keeper position, Ferguson believes the Spain Under 21 international will prove his worth for the side as the season wears on.

"De Gea is the long-term prospect, there is no question about that," Ferguson said, as reported by

"Anders has done very well. He has provided tremendous opposition to David. But the potential of David is obvious.

"We have been leaving him [De Gea] out of games quite regularly, there has been a nice mix of opportunities for Anders Lindegaard, playing in Europe and some of the league games.

"Just because he [De Gea] has lost two bad goals against Blackburn doesn't mean that all of a sudden we are neglecting that part of both of them playing."

United are currently second in the Premier League table, a game behind cross-town rivals Manchester City. The club have had massive injury problems over the past month, to the point where Paul Scholes has come out of retirement to help the midfield department.

Two key players that Ferguson has lost are newcomers Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young, who are both still recovering from respective injuries. And the Scot believes that they will be back soon to have an impact on the squad before the season ends.

"The plan for Cleverley is to start running two weeks on Monday and join us the following week. He is maybe a month away," Ferguson explained.

"Ashley is four weeks away easily. The bleeding never came out after the Fulham game and is only starting to come out now. That has been unfortunate. We don't think it is a serious injury but we can't prejudge it until we have all the facts."