The Red Devils visit Portsmouth in the Premiership on Saturday looking to consolidate second spot in the table before embarking on a crucial cup double, starting with a trip to Liverpool in the FA Cup before tackling Wigan in the Carling Cup final on 26 February.
Van der Sar knows three wins would leave United looking forward to the remainder of the season with some silverware already in the cabinet. But a hat-trick of defeats would condemn Sir Alex Ferguson's men to back-to-back trophyless campaigns for the first time in 17 years, a thought Van der Sar is not prepared to contemplate.
"These next few games are very important if we are going to get some silverware this season," said the Dutchman. "It is important for this club to be playing in finals and when you are there, you want to bring the trophy back with you.
"Our only two possibilities for trophies at the moment are the Carling Cup and the FA Cup but I am not going to choose between finishing second and winning a cup.
"We still have 13 matches to go and a lot of points to play for. Chelsea do have a lot more than us but we just have to keep winning and try to finish as close to them as we possibly can."
Van der Sar has been widely regarded as a force for good at Old Trafford this term. A £2m arrival from Fulham last summer, the 34-year-old has brought vital experience to United's back four and though his mistakes have been notable, they have been far fewer in number than those made by the other goalkeepers brought into the club since the departure of Peter Schmeichel in 1999.
Unfortunately for the former Ajax man, one of his blunders came at Blackburn last week when a breakdown in communication with Rio Ferdinand gifted Rovers their crucial second in an Ewood Park win.
Van der Sar exchanged angry words with the England defender immediately after the incident, but he insists the fall-out was only brief.
"It was very unlucky because I came for it and shouted but Rio did not hear me," he said. "It did not look good on television and for a few seconds your frustration takes over and you say a few things.
"But it was nothing vicious and the following morning we had more time to discuss what happened in a more rational manner."
The mistake is one of the reasons why Van der Sar claims to be only "semi-pleased" with his United performances to date.
It is an analysis most would regard as harsh but reflects the standards of a man who hopes to captain his country to victory at the World Cup in Germany this summer. In order to achieve that lofty ambition, Van der Sar knows the Netherlands may eventually have to dispose of England at some stage in the competition - and that means finding a way of stopping Wayne Rooney.
"He is, quite rightly, very highly regarded in world football," he said. "Even now, I still forget he is only 20. It is unbelievable.
"The best thing about Wayne is that he is not only capable of producing top-class performances, he does it at crucial moments in important matches."
However, the Manchester United legend Eric Cantona is worried Rooney's career at the top could be over within five years. "I love Rooney as a player," Cantona said. "But I am a bit worried. Rooney can become the best player in the world at 25, 26, if he knows that in football you need to be strong, train hard, go to bed early, be careful what you are eating, what you are drinking, what you do in life."
"If he realises that at 25, 26, then Rooney will be one of the best three players in the world," Cantona added. "I am sure Alex Ferguson is very strong and will help."
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