Foster set to return for United

Posted Saturday, October 03, 2009 by PA

Ben Foster will return to the Manchester United starting line-up for Saturday's Premier League encounter with Sunderland.

The England keeper sat out the Champions League win over Wolfsburg but has been assured on his place to face the Black Cats by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Michael Owen (groin) is out, while Edwin van der Sar (broken finger) and Rafael Da Silva (shoulder) are nearing full fitness after missing the entire season so far.

Ahead of the game, Ferguson feels his old United warhorse and current Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is taking the right path to managerial stardom.

It is still mystifying how a player who could be such an integral part of Ferguson's first double-winning team could end his playing days without a single international cap.

But if Ferguson's analysis is correct, Bruce could go on to be a major figure in management circles.

"If you look at Steve's career, it is exactly what you need," said the United boss. "He has experienced the other side. He has scrapped at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United and Wigan, and the job when he went back there was fantastic.

"He didn't have much money at Birmingham and that is not easy in the Premier League.

"But he has learned as he has gone along. Now he has the chance to spend some money and it looks very good."

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole United after returning to match fitness.

The 21-year-old was withdrawn at half-time during Sunday's 5-2 victory over Wolves having trained for just one day in the previous two and a half weeks because of a heel injury.

Central defender John Mensah is struggling with a calf problem, but full-back Phil Bardsley, who was sent home with a virus at the weekend, has recovered.

Bruce admits he returns United eternally grateful for the biggest lesson Ferguson ever taught him.

Bruce saw at close hand how the Scot went about his job during his eight and a half years at Old Trafford, a spell which brought three Premier League titles, two FA Cup and League Cup winners' medals and European Cup Winners' Cup and European Super Cup success.

And the one thing he learnt above all from Ferguson is that, in management, nothing can be achieved without sheer hard graft.

He said: "The one thing I am not frightened of is hard work, that's the one thing I have taken from him.

"I don't get in for 6.30am - I don't know if he still does that - but always when we got there, his car was there. That's the biggest thing I have learnt from him, not to take anything for granted, never to get carried away and not be afraid to work hard.

"To try to copy him, though, would be ridiculous. You would be found out very, very quickly. You have to be yourself."


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