Fergie backs Foster despite pre-season howler | sports | Hindustan Times
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Fergie backs Foster despite pre-season howler

sports Updated: Jul 20, 2009 14:18 IST

Sir Alex Ferguson has reiterated his belief that young goalkeeper Ben Foster will one day be England's number one despite his schoolboy error in the opening match of their Asian tour.

Foster came on as a second-half substitute in their win over a Malaysian XI on Saturday but got off to the worst possible start when he failed to control a Darron Gibson backpass and Amri Yahyah pounced to score an equaliser.

Ferguson though had sympathy for the 26-year-old.

"That was Ben's first game for three or four months, he dislocated a finger ligament at the end of last season and we had to operate," he said.

"I've said it before but, in the long-run, I think he'll be England's goalkeeper. I'm absolutely certain of that."

Before that happens he needs a decent run as first choice keeper and with Dutch great Edwin van der Sar, 38, still commanding that position, Foster knows he needs to make the most of any opportunity that comes along.

"Ben has a challenge to take the position of Edwin van der Sar, who, as everybody accepts, is one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time," added Ferguson.

Foster, who has been capped twice by England, signed a new four-year contract with the Premier League champions earlier this month and said he was delighted to be at the club long-term.

"The team spirit here is fantastic and working alongside Edwin and Tomasz (Kuszczak) has been a great influence on my career," he said.

Foster had surgery on his thumb in May which ruled him out for the final month of last season, meaning he missed the Champions League final against Barcelona and England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra.