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Oct 13, 2009

Van der Sar tips Foster to bounce back from criticism

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar claims that team-mate Ben Foster will overcome the criticism he has faced in recent weeks after a period of indifferent form for the Premier League champions.

Van der Sar has been sidelined with a hand injury picked up in pre-season and, while Foster has been filling in for the veteran, he has been at fault for a number of goals in recent games, most notably against Manchester City and Sunderland last week when he allowed Kenwyne Jones to leap above him to score.

Reports in the media on Tuesday suggested that United may move for Portsmouth 'keeper David James in January, but Van der Sar admits he will be looking to reclaim his first-team place and is also backing his rival to bounce back even stronger.

"Ben certainly has the strength of character to overcome what he has been through and how he deals with it will shape the player he will be," Van der Sar told the Daily Telegraph. "He is a very strong. I have sympathy for him, but I have no worries about him. Nobody has clear path in their career. You go up and down and you just have to make sure that the downs are not as deep as the ones you go up.

"I had similar things when I was young. That is what makes you the man you become as a goalkeeper."

Van der Sar returned to action for United's reserves against Everton last week and admits he is ready to fight for his first-team place.

"I want my place back," he added. "Playing in the reserves last Tuesday was an ideal moment for me to get a game under my belt before the Premier League begins again after the international break. I needed a game."

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