08/09/2008 09:36, Report by Steve Bartram
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Man of Steele

Tell us how you know TC…
I coached Tony Coton at City, then he rang to say he’d had an offer to join United and work with Peter Schmeichel. He asked me what he should do. I told him that if he didn’t say yes, I’d drive him there myself! I also encouraged him with his coaching when he was at Sunderland. I do the FA's Goalkeeper A and B courses each summer - Tony got his B licence with me.

When did you first become aware of United’s interest?
There was an enquiry when Tony was struggling with injury last year but the concrete interest didn’t really start until I’d been at Blackburn for two days.

What are your first impressions of the keepers you're working with?
We’ve got terrific depth and a broad range of talent. Our job is to make sure that we’re ready when the boss asks: “Right, Edwin’s in his last year, who’s going to step up and take the job?” You know the problems from trying to fill Schmeichel’s gloves. It took some time.

What are your ambitions at United?

At this football club you’re asked to meet expectations and go beyond if you can. That’s what I want to do - raise the bar and have keepers ready from youth to first-team level.

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The Manager's Verdict

"Eric Steele is doing very well.

"We were sorry to lose Tony Coton but Eric was always our first choice to replace him.

"He's got great experience from Aston Villa and Man City and he was our number-one target, no doubt. We outlined him as the coach we wanted.

"Edwin van der Sar, Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak have all been impressed with him. We're delighted to have him here."

- Sir Alex Ferguson


Premier League