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Van der Sar fires United warning
Published : 04 Oct 2010 08:06:20Rss feed
Edwin van der Sar is adamant Manchester United's travel sickness is not a mental problem. The Reds have yet to win away from Old Trafford in the Premier League this season and Saturday's 0-0 draw at Sunderland makes it eight critical title points dropped. The result of United's labours to eradicate their away problems won't be known for some time as visits to Stoke, City and Aston Villa are a while away yet. But when the Reds are back on the road again United's Dutch No.1 insists they have to get back to winning ways. It is not playing on our mind but it is disappointing, said Van der Sar We want wins and somehow we have to make it up along the way. I think we have to consider it two points dropped against Sunderland because we have dropped too many points already in away games. I don't think we put enough in our offensive game to really claim the three points. I don't think the service was sufficient to get the goal in the end. We can be happy that we had a clean sheet, the second in a row after Valencia on Wednesday, but it is two dropped points. We expected Sunderland to play like that and come at us because they knew that we had had a game on Wednesday away in Spain and then we travelled for four hours coming up here on Friday. We thought because of that they'd come at us and we were happy to go in 0-0 at half time. The first 20 minutes in particular, they kept bombing the crosses in. They put that ball in the box and of course Darren Bent has a very good spring and he is a good header of the ball, and he is a threat on those crosses. But we handled it, we got through it without being absolutely brilliant. We hoped it would die down towards the end. In the last 15 minutes we had some chances but not enough to get the winner. It is always the case that away stadiums are sold out and teams improve their game against us. Manchester United is a big scalp and we have to deal with that. It is not the start we wanted to the league season. But Van der Sar believes United's rearguard are beginning to regain their meanness after their first back-to-back clean sheets of the season against Valencia and Sunderland. Blanks Those blanks have coincided with the return of Rio Ferdinand. If you look at the last two matches you could say we are getting our act together at the back. That is the good side, he said. It is nice when you get your experienced players back. Rio has done really, really well. He has been working hard to get his fitness back. He has had the disappointment of missing the World Cup and not captaining England over in South Africa. Hopefully all the hard work he has put in is going to pay off and he'll have a good season without too many missed games. Jonny Evans has been the defender to make way for Ferdinand in Spain and on Wearside but Van der Sar says it is no slight on the 22-year-old Northern Ireland international. And he adds that the Reds will have to get used to personnel changes. We played the year before last without Rio and Nemanja Vidic at some stages of the season, added Edwin. Jonny was in defence with Wes Brown then and we did well. You cannot single out one player because they are not playing now it is down to the whole team. It is going to be a long season and there will be more changes made by the manager. There were different players last Sunday and in Spain and everyone has to deal with that. The manager just looks to see what he can do to win a game and that is why he is the manager. He is the most experienced guy there is. Van der Sar's early save against Belgian midfielder Steed Malbranque helped United keep the score at 0-0. It was a good run from Steed. He is a good technical player and I knew him very well from our Fulham days, added Van der Sar. He is never one who shoots blind so I just waited and blocked his effort. We did improve in the second half. But I don't think the service was sufficient to get a goal. What do you think? Have your say.