United keeper Foster eager to stay with Watford

May 24, 2006

Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster believes staying at Watford and helping them survive in the Premiership next season would be 'wonderful' for his blossoming career.

The 23-year-old was an integral member of the Hornets side that capped a remarkable campaign by securing promotion with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Leeds in the Championship play-off final.

The memorable victory at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium also signalled the end of Foster's successful season-long loan spell from Old Trafford and triggered speculation regarding his future, which is likely to be resolved later this month.

Another temporary move back to Watford looks possible, while Tim Howard's loan move to Everton could see Foster installed as Edwin van der Sar's understudy at Old Trafford.

Either way, Foster, who is yet to make a senior appearance for United since his £1million transfer from Stoke last July, is confident Adrian Boothroyd's side can defy the odds by avoiding relegation from the top tier.

'I definitely think Watford can stay up, whether I'm here or not remains to be seen at the moment,' Foster said. 'At this stage of my career it would be wonderful to be playing regular football in the top flight.

'Obviously I'd love to have a crack at the Premiership with Watford and if I get the chance to stay on I'd love to help the club stay up and I think they can definitely stay up.

'Watford play very attacking football and a lot of teams who have been promoted in recent years tend to play it safe and end up struggling.

'Adrian is a manager who likes to see his team attack and he'll also have the funds available now to strengthen his side.

'Promotion has given the club a good, stable platform to build on and people forget we were relegation candidates last season and look what we have achieved when people doubted the potential existent at Watford.'

Despite the lure of a return to Old Trafford, Foster is well aware another 12 months' experience out on loan, preferably under Boothroyd at Watford, will have a profound impact on his development.

He added: 'It's a great club and everyone connected to the club is extremely friendly and I've had nothing but good times at Watford.

'I'm sure if I do stay with Watford another season then it will certainly leave me in good stead for the future at Manchester United.

'But if I'm back at United I'd probably be number two and that would also be a great experience for me.

'I'll be banging on that first-team door as hard as I can and trying to force my way in and trying to learn as many things along the way.'

And in Van der Sar, Foster would be learning from arguably one of the finest goalkeepers in the world.

The 35-year-old Holland international has amassed over 500 career appearances during spells with Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and now United, with Foster relishing the opportunity to work alongside the Dutchman.

'I've been lucky to work with experienced players like Ed De Goey at Stoke and training with Edwin day in, day out would be special,' said Foster.

'I'm sure I'd learn a lot from him and he would only help develop me further which is an exciting prospect.'