West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster has admitted that he was "too laid back" to succeed at Manchester United.
The 29-year-old, now enjoying the best football of his career at The Hawthorns, looks back fondly on his time at Old Trafford, but recalls the day he departed as a blessing in disguise.
Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson spotted Foster's youthful promise in 2005, and tied him down to a long-term contract, prompting onlookers to suggest that he could be a long-term successor to Edwin van der Sar.
However, after making just 12 Premier League appearances for United over the next five years, the former England stopper jumped at the chance Birmingham City presented him, with the offer of regular first-team football.
"I definitely don't regret anything in my career," he told the Baggies' official website. "I never once regret what I've done in the past – everything happens for a reason. You learn from it and it makes you a stronger person on a football pitch.
"I learned that at a club like Manchester United it's very cut throat, succeed-at-all costs, you come away from it as a stronger person."
Despite his slow progress, Foster earned five full England caps while still a reserve at Old Trafford, but said that the mentality at the club, didn't really suit his personality.
"I'm too laid back," he explained. "I don't take this football thing as a 24/7 pursuit. I love playing it, I love Saturdays but it's not the be-all and end-all."
The last 18 months has represented a much-needed slice of stability for Foster, who has been on loan seven times in his professional career. Last season he kept a club-record 10 clean sheets, helping West Brom to a 10th place finish in the Premier League in 2011/12.
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