Edwin van der Sar: Manchester United Must Improve Defensively
The Dutch goalkeeper has called on his team-mates to return to the form which won them plenty of plaudits earlier this season...
8 Apr 2009 12:31:40
EPL: Edwin Van der Sar, Manchester United v Everton (PA)
Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is urging his team-mates not to let defensive lapses of concentration cost them in their quest for silverware this season.
The Red Devils have seen their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to just one point in recent weeks following defeats to Liverpool [4-1] and Fulham [2-0].
almost missed out on a crucial three points at home to Aston Villa on
Sunday after conceding another two goals, although they eventually won
United were expected to progress to the semi-final of the Champions League after drawing Porto
in the quarter-final, but the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday
evening has put the Dragoes in the driving seat going into the second
leg with an away-goal advantage.
The former Dutch international
believes it would be a great shame if United do not achieve their
objectives this year because of mistakes which can easily be avoided.
"It is not that they are great goals from the opposition," Van der Sar is quoted as saying by UEFA.com.
"We have to sort it out and start focusing. We have been successful
for a long time this season and we have to make sure we get back to
"If you look at the last four games obviously we haven't played as
we were doing in the games before that. We need to recover that
"I don't think it is a lack of confidence. We've played a lot of
games and have a few players injured and when you come to this stage
you need to have all your best players ready."
Van der Sar
remains hopeful that United can travel to the Estadio do Dragao and do
what is required to progress to the Champions League semi-final.
"They [Porto] have some quality – you have to expect this when you get to the quarter-final – and they had some chances.
"We need to do better and we've spoken a lot about it. We have a difficult job to do now; no English team has ever won there which is a big challenge.
"We have to prepare the best we can, hopefully we'll get some players back from injuries and make it to the semi-final."