Manchester United Vs Blackpool, Sun 22 May 2011

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Edwin van der Sar will say goodbye to the Premier League on Sunday admitting he faces a difficult 90 minutes against Blackpool.

After rejecting numerous pleas from his team-mates to abandon his retirement plans, Van der Sar is due to be handed the captain's armband by Sir Alex Ferguson for his final league game in Manchester United colours.

Not normally prone to moments of emotion, the 40-year-old did not even start thinking about the prospect of retirement until a couple of weeks ago.

However, the enormity of life away from the stresses and strains of training and matches has now started to sink in, making the occasion all the more difficult.

"I am not looking forward to it," Van der Sar told MUTV.

"It is a sad moment. You don't look forward to those. I just have to make the best of it.

"I wouldn't say it has come round quickly. I had not really been thinking about it. Once I knew what I was going to do, I remained focussed on the games and the training.

"It is only in the last two weeks that it has really sunk in that I am running out of time.

"Hopefully though, the memories I will get this weekend I will be able to keep with me for the rest of my life."

Van der Sar still has a big job to do.

Next week he will be gearing up for an incredible fifth Champions League final, hoping to keep out a Barcelona side that spoiled his night in Rome by beating him twice a couple of years ago.


Blackpool striker DJ Campbell has absolutely no wish to complete the worst hat-trick of his life by falling back into the npower Championship.

Campbell has experienced the trauma of relegation twice before, at Birmingham and Leicester.

The memories still haunt him, as do the faces of people he got the know well who were suddenly out of a job.

So, all week in the build-up to Blackpool's date with destiny at Old Trafford, Campbell has been trying to impress upon his team-mates how utterly horrible life will be if they fail in their survival quest.

"I have been relegated twice already and I really have no desire to experience that again," said the 29-year-old.

"At Birmingham it was like someone had torn my heart out.

"But that is not the worst of it. The big problem with these situations is that you see what affect it has on the people who really care about your club.

"I used to be a fan. I know how hard it is.

"In the immediate aftermath you can see fans and staff crying. It is absolutely gut-wrenching.

"You ask yourself what it means. At Birmingham, a lot of people that I liked and spoke to a lot, lost their jobs.

"The responsibility is huge, which is what I have been trying to impress on the guys all week."

Contrary to his own belief, there is a genuine desire around the country for Blackpool to do well, if only because of the additional colour Ian Holloway has brought to the Barclays Premier League.

After launching a staunch defence of Sir Alex Ferguson earlier this week, Holloway got his reward when the United boss agreed to a request for Blackpool to have a look at the surroundings they will be asked to operate in on Sunday, hoping to become only the second side this season, after West Brom, to avoid defeat.

"I can see why he would do that," said Campbell, one of the few Blackpool players with any Old Trafford experience, a 3-0 defeat with Birmingham in 2006.

"I have been fortunate enough to play there. It might get to the ones that haven't.

"But I have to say, it is a totally different stadium when there are 70,000 fans in there compared to when it is empty."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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