McLeish: “Foster has started better than Hart”

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has hailed the immediate impact made by summer signing Ben Foster, and believes he has better start to his career at St Andrews than former Blues keeper Joe Hart did.


McLeish signed Foster in the summer transfer window from Manchester United for £6million and it has turned out to be one of the best bargain deals. He had big shoes to fill as fellow English stopper Hart had an excellent campaign with Birmingham last season whilst on loan from Manchester City. But the player bought from City’s arch rivals Man United has done very well so far, keeping 3 cleans sheets in just 9 games and conceding only 12 goals. Birmingham’s Manager Alex McLeish was delighted by the progress made by the 27-year-old and said:

“I think Ben has gone up a level and started better than Joe Hart did here. Joe came on here on loan from Manchester City and ended up having a fantastic season. Ben has started very solid indeed and we are delighted with the guy.”

Foster came to St. Andrews in search of regular first-team action at a stable club, as Dutch veteran Edwin Van Der Sar was not allowing him that opportunity at Old Trafford being in terrific form. Foster has got exactly what he wanted at his new club plus the praise from his manager who said, “He is a good goalkeeper and he just needed really to be injury free and to play first team football.”

A detailed look at the performances of the two goalies:

Hart Foster
Clean Sheets 10/36 – 28% 3/9 – 33%
Goals Against 43/36 – 1.2 Avg 12/9 – 1.3 Avg
Wins 13/36 – 36% 2/9 – 22%

Birmingham have made a steady start to the Premier League season and have managed 10 points from nine games so far, sitting in 10th position. They make the trip to cross-town rivals Aston Villa this Sunday and McLeish is hopeful of a good result. He is confident that injured players like the on-loan Barca midfielder Hleb would get fit for the game, “Guys like Hleb are still trying to find full fitness. He is still missing training days. We really need him to get in full weeks of training to get him up to speed so that is a little disruptive in terms of momentum. But we saw the signs against Blackpool of a very entertaining player and he is fit to play on Sunday.”

Make your own mind as to who is the better goalie:

Foster – & v   Hart – &


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