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Van der Sar back on track for Utd
Published : 18 Jan 2010 11:12:45Rss feed
EVEN at the age of 39 and playing his 650th match, Edwin Van der Sar was still nervous when he made his United comeback against Burnley at Old Trafford. The Dutchman earned a deserved tribute from Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson as he plunged his first choice number one straight back into action after 12 games out. Van der Sar has been missing with a knee injury and was granted compassionate leave at Christmas when his wife fell ill and suffered a brain haemorrhage. It has been a traumatic time but his wife is recovering well and Saturday's performance proved conclusively he is over his knee trouble. "It's good to be back. It was hard, of course, but you have to get going," he said. "My wife is at home in Holland. Hopefully everything will come back together and she will be over here again. "I am not sure whether I was feeling my age or whether it was the two months away but I was a little nervous before the game." Van der Sar was reinstated despite deputy Tomasz Kuszczak's form. The Pole has put himself ahead of rival Ben Foster, who has been told that despite interest from Sunderland and Stoke, he won't be going out on loan. Van der Sar, meanwhile, paid a warm compliment to the unfortunate Kuszczak. "I must say Tomasz did well in the games when I have been absent," Edwin added. "It was difficult because there were so many players missing. "Sometimes we had eight or nine defenders and we ended up with a back four or three with many midfield players. Van der Sar compliment "I must give him a big compliment for that. It was not easy but he did very well." United had to overcome a dogged Burnley side to finally win and keep pace with Premier League leaders Chelsea. "The first-half was all right. In the second we had a couple of scares. I was happy with the way it went overall. I was delighted with the win and the clean sheet," said Van der Sar. "The Nugent chance was probably a key moment (the striker almost scored in the 60th minute). Gary Neville did so well to chase him. It made him anxious to take the shot quickly and that challenge made him shoot wide. "Burnley are a very resilient team. They have shown that all season and they presented a big challenge to us even after the first goal. "They hit a post and there was a little save at the end. But we hung on so it was fine. "It was important to win. We need to stay close to the leaders and that is what we did. Hopefully we can go from strength to strength now and come into real fitness. "We had a good time in Qatar last week and it was good for me to be back with the team again. We worked well, so to top it off with a win against Burnley completed a good week for myself and the team." Fergie was delighted with Van der Sar's comeback, saying: "Edwin was magnificent. What a performance. "He was steady, made some great decisions and used the ball well. "Tomasz has done a fantastic job for us and it is absolutely no slight on him at all to say that Edwin made a difference. "OK, so he's 39 years of age and has 139 caps but he really showed his experience. "He has two European Cup winners medals and been in four European finals you could go on and on. It's a fantastic career he has had and it showed again today. "It will be disappointing for Tomasz because he has been doing well. But he has to understand that bringing Edwin back is going to help him because he can only gain from watching Van der Sar. "Of course, he would learn more by playing, but for the benefit of the team, experience is important. "Edwin cannot last forever, of course, and these moments should be cherished by Tomasz as he can learn from someone like him." What do you think? Have your say.
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