"Don't forget Anders is a late developer whose only had about 80-90 games but he's 28 and has still got a great career ahead of him."

- Eric Steele on Anders Lindegaard, MUTV

28/07/2012 23:05, Report by Adam Marshall
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Lindegaard's big chance

Eric Steele has thrown down the gauntlet to Anders Lindegaard and urged the Dane to press home his claims for a first-team spot during pre-season.

With David De Gea on Olympic duty with Spain, the Scandinavian shot-stopper impressed in South Africa and China and will have further opportunities to shine in the remaining games on the DHL tour.

Lindegaard made one outstanding save in the win against Shanghai Shenhua and has clearly returned in good shape after the disappointment of suffering an injury last season and failing to make an appearance for his country at Euro 2012.

In the second and concluding part of his exclusive interview with MUTV, Steele admits he expects the former Aalesunds keeper to push De Gea all the way for the gloves.

"The manager has got a lovely decision with Anders back, albeit with a totally disjointed pre-season, and he's got David coming back off the Olympics at whatever stage, and there is healthy competition which is what every manager wants," stated Steele.

"I think Anders has got every chance to do so [start the season as first choice]. We brought him back early, as David did on 28 June when he did two days' physical and sports conditioning and then a full week with me before he joined up with the Spanish squad. We made sure he went into there with some form of base.

"David missed pre-season last year, misses it this year and will miss it next year because it's the European Under-21 Championship again. With the value of pre-season, he's missed two and that does throw the gauntlet down to Anders.

"Of course it does and, due to the disjointed nature of pre-season, Anders has got a chance. At the Swedish, Norwegian and German games, Ben Amos will be gone by then, so we've got to travel with Anders and Sam Johnstone and that gives him a chance to say: 'Okay, I'll stake a claim'."

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