Lindegaard targets No. 1 shirt

New Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has wasted no time in setting his sights on Edwin van der Sar's shirt, insisting he has not come to sit on the bench and make up the numbers.

The 26-year-old moved to Old Trafford in a £3.5 million deal from Norwegian club Aalesund earlier this month, but has yet to be pitched into action by Sir Alex Ferguson, aside from a behind-closed-doors game against Bury last week.

And with Van der Sar expected to retire at the end of the season, Lindegaard has not come to play second fiddle, after suggestions that he was to become a back-up option allowing Ferguson to pursue Schalke's Manuel Neuer, David de Gea of Atletico Madrid or Inter Milan's Julio Cesar.

"I want to be first choice. I want to be the best," he told the Manchester Evening News. "I am not here because I want to be on the bench. I am not thinking about Edwin's situation.

"Being No. 1 at United is a goal far out on the horizon. It is not something I think about when I go to sleep at night. The only thing I think about then is tomorrow's training. But it is always there on the horizon that reminds you of where you want to go and what you want to be."

Lindegaard was stung by recent comments from his boyhood hero and Red Devils legend Peter Schmeichel, who said in no uncertain terms that United should be signing goalkeepers of a better standard and that he was not up to scratch.

Despite idolising the big Dane as a boy, Lindegaard appears determined to make the United legend eat his words.

"I was Peter Schmeichel when I was playing in my parent's garden," Lindegaard added. "I was always imagining I was Peter at Old Trafford. He has had a huge impact on my choice of becoming a goalkeeper and supporting United. He has been a big source of inspiration for a long time.

"It is sad he doesn't have the same admiration for me that I have for him! He is the biggest goalkeeping legend in this club along with Edwin and, of course, you would always want people to believe you are very good and very talented.

"It is a very big motivation for me. If someone says you are not good enough and are not going to make it, it is a very big motivation. You are able to surprise people and prove them wrong. Hopefully, Peter will eventually say that he is proud that another Dane has made his way in the world's biggest club. Only time will tell."

By James Martini