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Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 12:04 UK

Ferguson to keep faith in Foster

Ben Foster
Foster is deputising for veteran Dutchman Edwin van der Sar

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will keep faith with keeper Ben Foster despite his errors in Sunday's defeat of Manchester City.

Foster, who Ferguson has previously tipped to be England's number one at the 2010 World Cup, has endured a difficult start to the season.

He was at fault for City's opening goal and his positioning was in question for their third in the 4-3 victory.

"Ben will play on Saturday against Stoke," confirmed United boss Ferguson.

"Ben has not had a lot of game experience but he will be OK."


Tomasz Kuszczak had been tipped to step in for his first Premier League start of the season after he kept a clean sheet in the Carling Cup win over Wolves on Wednesday.

But Ferguson will stick with Foster, who is currently deputising for veteran Dutchman Edwin van der Sar.

Van der Sar suffered two broken fingers in a pre-season game against Bayern Munich in July and will be out of action for another three weeks.

Foster began the season as United's number one but has come under fire for his performances against Chelsea in the Community Shield and Arsenal at Old Trafford, while his mistakes against Manchester City had expected to result in Kuszczak starting at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, United midfielder Owen Hargreaves could be back playing in four weeks.

Hargreaves has been out of action for a year after deciding to undergo operations on both knees in an effort to solve his tendinitis problems.

The 28-year-old has been doing his rehabilitation work in the United States so far under the guidance of renowned knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman.

He is now back with us and hopefully the boy gets a break and continues his progress without any further mishaps

Sir Alex Ferguson

There have been doubts about Hargreaves' long-term future but now he is back in Manchester and could be set for a return to football.

"I feel it will still take us four weeks to get him into the rhythm of training again and get to the point of match play," said Ferguson.

"But he has the determination and resilience to see it through. He is now back with us and hopefully the boy gets a break and continues his progress without any further mishaps."

And Ferguson has also taken comfort from the growing number of players that have come back from formerly career-threatening cruciate knee ligament surgery, the latest being Chelsea's Joe Cole.

"We don't see the fact he has been out a year as a handicap," said Ferguson.

"Other players have been out a similar length of time.

"When Joe Cole came back on Wednesday you forget he was missing for nine months. It is achievable, particularly when they are young.

"Owen is not kicking a ball yet. The physio who attended to him over there will stay here for a week for the changeover.

"He and our physios are discussing exactly at what stage he is at but he should be into football training quite soon."

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see also
Man Utd 4-3 Man City
21 Sep 09 |  Premier League
Man Utd handed Hargreaves boost
30 Sep 09 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves faces career concerns
03 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
Man Utd hit by injury to Foster
18 May 09 |  Man Utd
Foster wants future with Man Utd
25 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Man Utd hit by new Foster injury
19 Sep 08 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves visits top US surgeon
07 Nov 08 |  Man Utd
England's goalkeeper options
23 Aug 07 |  Internationals

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