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28/12/2010 10:58

Papers: Leaving was right

Stuart James writes in The Guardian...

Foster pleads not guilty to bad timing over United exit
Ben Foster says he has no regrets about leaving Manchester United in the summer and believes joining Birmingham City has helped him to recapture his best form. The England international, who will come up against his former team-mates at St Andrew's tonight, is relieved to have escaped the pressure at United, which he described as a "cut-throat" environment where two dropped points represented "the end of the world". Expectations are nothing like as great at Birmingham and Foster has thrived away from the Old Trafford spotlight. He has impressed with some outstanding displays, earning a recall to Fabio Capello's squad after the disappointment of missing out on the World Cup. He is playing well enough to suggest Sir Alex Ferguson might have been a little rash to dispense with a player he once described as "England's goalkeeper for the next 10 years". With the United manager back in the market for a No1 goalkeeper in the wake of Edwin van der Sar's decision to retire, Foster could be forgiven for wondering whether he should have stayed on for another season. But that is far from his mind. "I'm loving it [at Birmingham], I've never enjoyed my football more. I don't wish I'd stuck around at all," said Foster, who cost Birmingham £6m in May. "I don't really keep up to date with what's going on [at United]. I look out for results but nothing more than that. I wouldn't go back [on the decision to leave]."

Another United departure is strongly tipped in the Manchester Evening News. The local paper claims the Reds will "listen to offers in the January transfer window" for Michael Owen with Aston Villa "likely to be at the head of the queue."

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