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23 Juli 2008

Fergie: Foster Will Be England's No 1

The highly-promising 24-year-old goalkeeper, who had such a tough time with injuries last season, was one of the standouts of United's 1-0 victory yesterday, keeping a clean sheet as the Red Devils edged Orlando Pirates in a pre-season match in South Africa.

"I still believe Ben will be England's goalkeeper for the next few years," Ferguson was quoted as saying by Sky Sports News after the match.

"We did not expect him to get fit so quickly last season and I did not include him in our European squad.

"When I saw his performance against Derby there was maybe some regret on my part.

"The ability he has he is going to be challenging for a first-team place next season. That can only be good news for England.

"With an experienced goalkeeper like David James coming back in the squad it tells you there is an opportunity for someone like Ben."

Foster joined the defending champions from Stoke City and spending two seasons on loan to Watford before suffering a serious injury from which he has only recently fully recovered.

 "It will be difficult for Ben only because he is in competition with one of the best goalkeepers of all time," said Ferguson on the competition he faces with current no 1 Edwin van der Sar.

"Edwin is a man of great experience and consistency and has looked after himself so well.

"He can play until he is 40. Ben is 24, so can play for the next 14 to 15 years. There is no need for the boy to panic. His time will come."

Derek Wanner,