Fergie - United will cope

Red Devils begin search to replace retiring Dutch legend

Van der Sar: United search for successor

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Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted Manchester United are well equipped to deal with the departure of Edwin van der Sar.

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The 40-year-old has confirmed he will hang up his gloves at the end of the current campaign, sparking a search for his successor.

Ferguson, however, feels the club are better equipped to deal with his decision to stand down than they were in 1999 when Peter Schmeichel departed Old Trafford.

It took him six years and 10 goalkeepers to eventually find the former Ajax stopper but maintains they will not make the same mistakes again.

Ferguson said: "We hope we are better organised about it this time.

"There will always be comparison between Peter and Edwin.

"In my time those two were the two outstanding goalkeepers, not just at our club, but in their entire careers.

Career

"Look at the rich career that Edwin had; four Champions League finals, three World Cups.

"It was fantastic and Peter, of course, was recognised by everyone at the time as the best goalkeeper in the world.

"They are different personalities. But they are great characters and I have been fortunate to have the two of them."

Van der Sar's six-year tenure Old Trafford has coincided with a trophy-laden period of success for the club.

During his stay at the club he has garnered three successive Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League winners' medal.

Ferguson added: "Edwin's impact as a professional is the one thing I will always remember about him.

Fantastic

"He has been absolutely fantastic in all areas, quite apart aside from his ability on the field.

"His training performances, his example to young players, his personality in the dressing room. He is a really special man.

"But he has made the point himself, it is pointless trying to be superman into your 40s. There has to be a time for everyone in football.

"It is one of the sad parts of my job that you get to the stage where age takes over."

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