Boothroyd backs Foster to be best in world

February 7, 2007

Ben Foster has the chance to live up to Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd's belief that he is 'going to be the world's number one goalkeeper' when he makes his England debut in tonight's friendly against Spain.

Foster, on loan at the Hornets from Manchester United, will make his maiden Old Trafford appearance as Steve McClaren looks to give experience to one of Paul Robinson's understudies.

Boothroyd said: 'Ben Foster is being tested week in and week out in the Premiership and he comes up with the goods. I think he is going to be the world's number one. He is a terrific goalkeeper.

'He has done remarkably well considering the amount of attention he has got and he will kick on again. I think he is a real asset.'

While stressing Robinson remains his number one, McClaren is aware of the need to provide some sort of insurance in case the Tottenham player is injured, as well as providing healthy competition.

McClaren said: 'We have to make sure we know the goalkeepers behind Paul Robinson can handle the international stage and can play at this level, so this is an ideal opportunity.

'I want everybody coming in outside of the `core' players pushing and creating competition. If Ben Foster comes in and proves himself that will benefit the team and will benefit everybody.

'He's got great qualities. He's got great presence and, at top level and international level, you have to make big saves. This season, Ben has played in the Premier League for Watford and he's made big saves.

'Now he has to transfer that to international level. Can he make the big saves and big performances at international level? It's a big test for him.'

McClaren believes Foster's background at the Red Devils can only stand him in good stead.

He said: 'Ben must have really great character to be at a club like Manchester United. He must be a big player and be well respected.

'Then he went out to Watford on loan last season and proved himself and has continued the same way this season. That's what you've got to do.

'You can train and have so much potential - but you have to perform and Ben has performed for a year and a half at Watford and performed very well. He deserves his chance.'