Howard reveals Van der Sar respect

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has revealed his admiration for Manchester United stopper Edwin van der Sar – the man who replaced him at Old Trafford.

Howard made the move to Goodison Park in the summer of 2006 after Dutchman Van der Sar was recruited as the Red Devils’ number one, but admits he has nothing but respect for the evergreen shot-stopper.

“Edwin has performed admirably for his club and country for such a long time and he seems to get better and stay at a very high level," Howard told Sky Sports News.

"That's not easy to do in that position and at a club like Manchester United.”

Two-time Champions League winner Van der Sar will be hitting 40 next month, after a lengthy career that includes spells with European giants Ajax and Juventus.

This season marks the Dutchman’s sixth in Manchester United colours after his move from Premier League rivals Fulham back in 2005.

His Old Trafford career has seen him amass an impressive 156 league appearances in a United shirt, winning three league titles, a Champions League winner’s medal and the League Cup along the way.

Howard and Van der Sar are expected to line up against one another when Manchester United visit Goodison Park on Saturday evening, and USA international Howard has reserved special praise for the 39-year-old’s endurance at the top level.

“Hats have to go off to Edwin and other keepers like him at that age to keep plugging away," said Howard.

"I'm nine years away from that and it's difficult now because of the pressures and the work that you put in. To get to that age [in top-flight football] you've done very well."

By Joe Brewin

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