Tomasz Kuszczak hoping to impress Alex Ferguson

Tomasz Kuszczak is a man on a mission - to prove he can replace Edwin van der Sar as Manchester United's new number one.

Van der Sar will retire at the end of the season, leaving vacant one of the most demanding jobs in the game.

It took Sir Alex Ferguson 11 attempts to find an adequate replacement for Peter Schmeichel when the great Dane left Old Trafford in 1999, leaving the United manager to lament why he did not snap up Van der Sar in the first place as he had intended.

Now Ferguson is facing a similar problem.

One potential replacement has already been signed following the arrival of Denmark international Anders Lindegaard from Aalesund and there is plenty of speculation a bigger name could follow, with Germany duo Rene Adler and Manuel Neuer amongst those mentioned, along with Dutch World Cup star Maarten Stekelenburg.

However, as the current go-to man during Van der Sar's three-match absence with a flu virus, Kuszczak is keen to make the most of his current opportunity.

"Every game is massive for me," he said.

"I want to show that I can take over from Edwin. For us young players, we have to be ready.

"When we play, we must play very well."

Kuszczak can certainly be satisfied with the part he has played in three successive wins, which have cemented United's position at the top of the Premier League, whilst also booking an FA Cup fourth-round meeting with Southampton in three weeks' time.

"There has been all this speculation about my future but I am hopeful I can play more," said Kuszczak.

"There has always been competition for this club and there always will be. This is how football works.

"I intend to do well all the time when I get a chance to play. That is what would give me a future at United."

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