Edwin van der Sar has given up worrying about how long his career will continue.

The Manchester United keeper will celebrate his 40th birthday in October, by which time he hopes to be well on the way to another fine season for the Old Trafford outfit.

On recent evidence, there is plenty of life in the former Ajax man yet. And he certainly is not naming the day when he hangs up his gloves for the last time.

"I don't worry about when that day arrives," he said.

"I am now exceeding my own expectations so it doesn't bother me. When I was younger I thought maybe I would finish in my mid-30s. But that is a normal time to be thinking about it when you are younger and for players at this level.

"That would have been the obvious time to finish but I only came to United late in my career and maybe that is why I am still enjoying it. Coming to Old Trafford probably gave me a new lease of life."

With each passing season Ferguson must question why he allowed Van der Sar to join Juventus in 1999 when he was first giving serious thought to making the keeper a Red Devil.

Of all Schmeichel's successors, he is the one who has come closest to matching the great Dane's extraordinary achievements, a feat Ferguson is quick to acknowledge.

"The club have to be happy," he said. "If they are not happy with the quality you are producing then there is no need to keep on going.

"I broke two fingers in pre-season last year and then got another knee injury later on but every time I was fit I was picked again so that was a good sign for me.

"It proved he still had confidence in me and my qualities and ability. It is always nice when you work hard to get back and then the first opportunity to put you back in the team he does it. It is important to know he has that faith."

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