Birmingham boss Alex McLeish heaps praise on goalkeeper Ben Foster

17 November 2010 02:38
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish believes Ben Foster is 'looking every inch a top class keeper' as he prepares to make his England comeback against France at Wembley tonight.

Joe Hart's withdrawal through injury means Foster, who replaced him between the posts at St. Andrew's this season, is favourite to start his first international for 12 months.

He played successive internationals against Belarus at Wembley and then Brazil in Doha last season.

Safe hands: Birmingham goalkeeper Ben Foster

McLeish believes Foster is reaping the benefit of playing regular first team football after his lack of action at Manchester United before his £6million summer move.

But he also gives credit to Blues goalkeeping coach Dave Watson, the former England Under-21 keeper, who worked closely with Hart when on loan from Manchester City - and now Foster.

McLeish told Press Association Sport: 'I think Ben just needed games and he is looking every inch a top class keeper.

Swap: Ben Foster is expected to replace the injured Joe Hart in goal for England against France

'At the end of the day, a keeper makes a mistake and it is normally a goal.

'That is the pressures they are under and must face and someday they will make a mistake.

'But the top ones make very few, that's the key, to a great keeper, and Ben has been excellent this season.

'Ben has been very, very solid for us in everything he's done - his taking of crosses, his distribution, his communication.

'It's all been there and you can see he's had a good grounding and been educated in a highly technical world.

'Sir Alex Ferguson, when he sold Ben to me in the summer, did say he would be vying for the England position by the end of the year.'

McLeish added: 'I'm also fortunate to have a good goalkeeping coach in Dave Watson. We look at everything together.

'Over my years in the game, I was the worst critic of my goalkeepers when I played for 18 years at Aberdeen and Scotland.

'I used to get frustrated with the keepers but Dave is doing a great job.'

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 Explore more:People: Alex Ferguson, Joe Hart, Alex McLeish, Ben Foster Places: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Scotland, France, United Kingdom, Brazil

Source: Daily_Mail

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