Football

Fergie: Foster is future number one

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Sir Alex Ferguson has assured Carling Cup hero Ben Foster his time will come as Manchester United's number one.

Foster played a man-of-the-match role in ensuring United's bid for an unprecedented quintuple remains on track, making a crucial save to deny Jamie O'Hara in a 4-1 penalty shoot-out triumph over Tottenham at Wembley.

"The future is his," said Ferguson. "The present belongs to Edwin van der Sar, that's obvious. But, given that experience in a final, it strengthens my belief Ben will be England's goalkeeper for the next number of years."

Ferguson added: "He is a very strong character. He has to, to have come through two cruciate knee injuries. It takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice to get through that and recover to do what he did.

"It is difficult to keep them all patient. But there's no other way."

Foster is certainly prepared to try anything in the pursuit of success, which is why he spent the precious minutes between the end of extra-time and the penalty shoot-out staring at an iPod with goalkeeping coach Eric Steele to work out what techniques the Spurs players were likely to use.

"We have done a lot of research into the way each player is going to put their penalty," he said. "We went into the shoot-out as well prepared as possible.

"We have had things to look at over the last couple of days and before the shoot-out, you can see me looking at an iPod with Eric Steele. It had actual video on it and showed where players put things."

Foster had never seen anything like it when Steele introduced the research aid to training after being appointed as goalkeeping coach following the decision of Tony Coton to step down due to injury.

"It is a new innovation for us," he said. "Eric brought it when he came to the club. I have never seen anything like it. It is a fantastic tool for us."

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Ben Foster
Football
Edwin Van der Sar
League Cup
Premier League
Alex
Manchester United
Jamie O'Hara
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