Manchester United under-fire keeper Ben Foster has thanked Sir Alex Ferguson for sticking with him following his derby disaster.
Many felt Ferguson could give Tomasz Kuszczak a first-team run after Foster was beaten three times in United's recent home win over Manchester City.
Kuszczak performed well in their midweek Carling Cup win over Wolves and kept a clean sheet as a weakened United side saw off Wolves despite Fabio's red card.
However, Foster was restored against Stoke and was not beaten as The Red Devils capitalised on Chelsea's slip-up at Wigan by surging to the top of the table.
Foster concedes he was not happy with the derby result against City despite Michael Owen's last-gasp winner as he disappointed with his personal performance.
"I have to say a big thanks to the boss for sticking by me," said Foster.
"Last Sunday was great for the team but personally, it was an absolute disaster.
"I was gutted afterwards. I was the only one in the changing room with an upside down smile on his face."
Foster admits he buried his head in the sand at the criticism that followed, although he was unable to escape scrutiny from goalkeeping goal Eric Steele.
"I pretty much buried my head in the sand," he continued. "I didn't really want to watch the television and there was no way I was reading the papers the next day.
"When we got into training I had to face up to it. I had to look at the replays, analyse them and learn from them.
"The goalkeeping coach has been on at me all week and was really hard on me. But I needed that and I like to think I have learnt from it.
"You are going to have those days as a goalkeeper sometimes and you have to keep them to a minimum."
Foster admits he is constantly learning and hopes by developing his concentration he can improve his consistency and go on to emulate legend Edwin van der Sar.
"The more you play the more concentration and consistency you develop," added Foster.
"Edwin is a typical example of Mr Cool. He is a fantastic professional and he is someone I want to emulate at Manchester United.
"He is exactly what I am aiming to be for years to come."