Tomasz Kuszczak has admitted he wants a chance to prove five years at Manchester United have not been a complete waste of time.
Press Pass Extra: Man Utd lead the way
Kuszcak, 28, was handed a rare first-team start at former club West Brom on Saturday and responded by helping Manchester United secure only their second Premier League win away from Old Trafford this season. It was only his 56th appearance since arriving at Old Trafford in 2006 and his first in the Premier League for 12 months.
And whilst his present contract is not due to expire until 2012, the arrival of Anders Lindegaard from Aalesunds has placed question marks over the Pole's future, even though Edwin van der Sar is set to quit at the end of the season. Kuszczak admits he does not know what the future holds. But, it seems he has now reached the stage where acting as back-up to a more senior figure no longer holds much appeal.
"It was my debut - the first of January,'' he laughed. "Every player has his ambitions. And I have mine. I have sat on the bench for five years but that means nothing to me. I am ready to play. I have some experience now and I think I can use it. What I need is a chance to play more than one game in two or three months. You can't prove anything like that.''
Van der Sar's longevity has already caused Ben Foster to give up the unequal battle and it cannot have escaped Kuszczak's notice that his former team-mate is now prospering, having seized the opportunity of regular first team football at Birmingham. Kuszczak has not spoken with Sir Alex Ferguson about the situation, although the indications are it will be Ben Amos who is released on loan this month to further his education.
"I will wait to see what happens at the end of the season,'' said Kuszczak. "I need to see what the boss wants to do - whether he wants to play me or sell me. At this present moment, I don't know. Edwin is 40 already. Who knows how long he can play? It may be his last season. But a club like this needs to have young goalkeepers coming in. I want to play but it is not in my hands.''