Van der Sar says Manchester United experience is key

Edwin Van der Sar believes Manchester United have the awareness that separates them from the rest.

The Dutch goalkeeper is confident they can kick on and lift an unprecedented fourth successive title.

United will go back to the top tomorrow if they beat Portsmouth at Old Trafford as Chelsea do not play until Sunday against Arsenal.

Van der Sar, 39, knows what it is like to have that winning mentality.

"Experience definitely helps," he told www.manutd.com. "You've been there before - through narrow escapes and must-win games. You know how to handle them.

"The more you go through these situations the better you are at dealing with them.

"There's a moment in your career where it clicks and you think, 'I"ve been in this situation before, I know what to do, I know what to expect'. That comes in handy sometimes."

Van der Sar has made 203 appearances for United since arriving from Fulham at the age of 34.

It is no coincidence that since he returned in January from injury - and his wife's illness - the team have improved.

Injuries and suspensions to defenders Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic meant manager Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to make changes - not that Van der Sar is that concerned with the disruption.

He said: "In general, we tend to coach the same way and to play in the same system. But every player has their own characteristics.

"You have to understand the qualities and the character of your team-mates. Sometimes one defender is quicker than another, or one is better at heading the ball.

"Whoever comes into the defence brings their own personality and style with them. As a goalkeeper you try to make sure everything glues together and you work well."

Ferguson may again opt to pair Wes Brown and Jonny Evans in central defence following the victory against Arsenal.

Ferdinand remains absent through suspension while Vidic has a nerve problem in the right side of his leg and could miss his seventh match in a row.

Meanwhile Owen Hargreaves has been left out of United's Champions League squad.

The move almost certainly ends any hope the midfielder had of forcing his way into Fabio Capello's World Cup squad and raises fresh doubts over his chances of making a full recovery from double knee surgery in October 2008.

UEFA have confirmed the former Bayern Munich star is not among the men United will rely on in their quest to reach a third successive final.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London