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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Heaton ready and willing

Tom Heaton insists he is ready and willing should he be called upon to keep goal for the Reds this season.

The 21-year-old Reserves stopper has made the bench on a handful of occasions over the last year or so, but is yet to make a competitive first team appearance for the Reds.

A long term injury to Ben Foster has pushed Heaton up the goalkeeping pecking order and he remains hopeful of making his mark in the first team during the coming campaign.

"As a goalkeeper you have to be patient, everyone keeps telling me that anyway!" he told Inside United. "It can be difficult at times because once you’ve had a taste of things all you want to do is play.

"Ideally I would have liked to have gone out on loan to get some more experience, but the situation with Ben [Foster] being injured has given me a chance with the first team which is fantastic.

"It’s a pleasure to be working with the first team and I’m just focused on keeping my head down and working hard."

Heaton was part of the Reds' squad which toured Asia in July and was handed his chance in the team's final match in China.

"Travelling with the team to Asia was a fantastic experience for me personally and I think we’ve all benefited from the training we did out there," he insisted. "I managed to get 45 minutes under my belt in the final game of the tour which was pleasing.

"I want to improve all aspects of my game," he added. "Training with the first team is a big factor because it brings you on leaps and bounds.

"We’ll just have to see what comes up for me this season - hopefully I might get an opportunity somewhere along the line." Read more...

Simpson agrees new deal

Reds' defender Danny Simpson has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2010.

The 20-year-old, who joined in July 2003, spent last season out on loan, gaining significent first team experience along the way.

After a successful four-month spell at Royal Antwerp at the start of the 2006/07 campaign, Simpson was snapped up by Sunderland boss Roy Keane for the remainder of the season.

Simpson, along with fellow United loanee Jonny Evans, became an integral part of the Black Cats defence as Keane's side clinched promotion to the Premier League.

Simpson is now a fully fledged member of United's first team squad following some impressive displays in pre-season. Read more...

Ronaldinho's list of the world's five best players

Cristiano Ronaldo was the only Premier League representative on Ronaldinho's list of the world's five best players. "I love to watch Cristiano go one-to-one against a player because he confuses defenders," Ronaldinho told FourFourTwo magazine. "Cristiano is more of a team player now. He is less selfish but still provides moments of skill which can change a game." Read more...

Ryan Wants Eleven Titles

Ryan Giggs wants 11 Premier League title wins to match his Manchester United shirt number. In an exclusive interview with Inside United magazine, Giggs said: "It would be nice to get to 10 titles — but it would be nicer to get to 11. I don’t want to be greedy but that is my shirt number, so that is what I am aiming for. Read more...

Anderson will come good

Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Brazilian midfielder Anderson will be a success at Old Trafford despite enduring a somewhat subdued debut.

The 19-year-old, who has already been compared to international team-mate Ronaldinho, made his first competitive appearance for the Reds in the 1-0 win over Sunderland at the weekend, but struggled to make an impact during his 45-minute run-out.

Sir Alex has no doubts about Anderson's talent, insisting he simply needs a little more time to settle into England's top flight.

"He'll take time. He's 19 years of age and is a player with great skill, I'm sure he'll be okay," said the Reds' manager.

"I thought he found it difficult against Sunderland because of the speed of the game and the way they set their stall out made it difficult for us.

"Also if you look at the four that played - Anderson, Eagles, Tevez and Nani - they've never played with each other.

"But we were pleased to get 45 minutes behind Anderson. Hopefully, the two weeks before the Everton game will give him a chance to improve."

Anderson played just over an hour of the Reserves' 3-1 defeat at Manchester City on Tuesday night. Having been omitted from the Brazilian squad for their friendlies against USA and Mexico, the midfielder will spend the next ten days sharpening up his fitness ahead of United's next league match at Everton on Saturday week. Read more...