18/04/2011 13:00, Report by Adam Marshall
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Edwin hails Reds' belief

Edwin van der Sar has praised United's strength of character ahead of the latest test of the Reds' title credentials.

Sir Alex Ferguson's trophy-chasers head to Newcastle on Tuesday with the chance to extend the lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to nine points.

The veteran keeper, who is retiring at the end of the season, admits the away form earlier in the campaign dented the team's confidence but knows the players are now in the right frame of mind for the run-in, despite missing out on a place in the FA Cup final.

"We had been a bit scrappy in the first half of the season," he explained. "We conceded some last-minute goals. It doesn't do your self-confidence a lot of good. Of course, you need mental strength in certain games when you keep conceding in the last minute or the ball is not going in. It can do something with you.

"It shows the strength of character and the belief this manager has in the quality of this team. You get confidence when you get on a roll. You are not struggling and you get your players back. There are goals in the team and, defensively, you are sound. It is a good feeling."

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"The manager has a certain way he wants to play and there are certain players he would choose when he selects his team. When Rio or Valencia or Park comes back from injury, it gives you a great feeling. You know you are a strong line-up."

- Edwin van der Sar


Premier League