Van der Sar wants double after Cup exit
Edwin van der Sar has told his Manchester United team-mates they must win the Premier League and UEFA Champions League to make amends for their FA Cup exit against Manchester City. United's dreams of a treble were shattered as arch-rivals City secured a 1-0 win in the Cup semi-final at Wembley yesterday thanks to Yaya Toure's second half goal.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side were well below their best and Dutch goalkeeper Van der Sar admitted United gave a tired display as their recent efforts caught up with them. But, although Van der Sar concedes that losing to City in such a big game is a significant blow, United still have two major prizes to aim for at home and in Europe.
They lead the Premier League and are hot favourites to overcome Schalke in the Champions League semi-final. Success in those two competitions would still make it a season to remember and Van der Sar said: "Of course you are disappointed when it is a semi-final and you lose. It is not what you want at this stage of the season.
"But we have got another two opportunities for silverware and we have to make sure we take them. It is important that we are in first place in the league, we have to make the best of that one."
United could still enjoy a Wembley triumph this season as the Champions League final is being held at the English national stadium, but Van der Sar insists it is more important to learn the lessons of the City defeat than start dreaming of another final.
"At the moment that is not important. We have to think about this loss first," he said. "We had some chances in the first half but didn't really take them and City created some opportunities with set pieces. In the second half they scored and we didn't defend it well. Then we had to chase the game and it was difficult with 10 against 11 after Paul Scholes' red card.
"It proved a little bit too hard after the amount of games we have played so far. Maybe a little bit of tiredness crept in. The pace of the game wasn't quick enough. We had to quicken the game up a little more, then we could have caused them more problems."
With Van der Sar set to retire at the end of the season, the veteran goalkeeper will never get another chance to win the FA Cup, yet he insists it is nothing to lose sleep over. "It is not a personal disappointment, it is a team thing," he said. "You are working hard with the players and staff. I am not going to lose a night's sleep because I haven't won this one."