Ferguson sees Foster as England’s first choice goalkeeper

March 2nd, 2009 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, March 2 (IANS) Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson sees Ben Foster, the hero of his team’s Carling Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur, as England’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Foster’s fine penalty shoot-out save from Jamie O’Hara was the key in Manchester United winning the Cup. Foster, who had watched the footage of Spurs’ taking recent penalties on an iPod, dived to his left to palm away O’Hara’s attempt. It was left to United’s Brazilian midfielder, Anderson, to seal a 4-1 shoot-out success, though victory owed much to Foster whose saves, particularly from Aaron Lennon in normal time, had saved the Manchester team, reports the Guardian.

“The future is his (Foster), the present belongs to (Edwin) Van der Sar, that’s obvious,” said Ferguson while his players celebrated claiming the season’s first major trophy out on the pitch. “Myself and the coaching staff have always had great faith in him but, having now had that experience in a final, that will strengthen his own belief. I think he’ll be England’s goalkeeper for the next number of years.

“I just pray he has more luck with injuries than he’s had in the last few years. But he’s proved he is a strong character, a very strong character. He has to have been to have come through two cruciate knee injuries the way he has. You map out a programme (for injured players), to do this or that after the operation, but it takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice to stick to it, and recover to do what he did today.”

Foster, who first suffered cruciate damage before joining United, has made only seven appearances for the club since joining from Stoke City in 2005. He has also spent two seasons on loan at Watford, and his progress to the club’s first team was hampered by more ligament damage sustained in the summer of 2007, and by Van der Sar’s excellent form.

— Indo-Asian News Service


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