Sir Alex - Tim can be number one
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The £2.2 million arrival is convinced he will follow the lead of fellow Americans Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller by becoming a success in The Premiership, once he has settled into life in Manchester.
"I'm delighted to have secured the transfer of Tim from MetroStars," Ferguson beamed. "I wish him a very special welcome.
"It's a big lift for Tim, coming from the United States. Terrific keepers have come from there in the past few years and we recognised another one.
"We wish him a great career at United. He's coming to a big club.
"(Goalkeeping coach) Tony Coton identified him last summer, through friends, and we asked for progress reports and got a pile of videos on him.
"He was very impressive, we watched him against Mexico and have been chasing his signature.
"It's not been easy due to the United States and he's not, in this moment in time, a European citizen, but we managed to secure a work permit."
Ferguson refuses to accept the inevitability that a keeper will have to leave as he now has four in his first team squad.
"That's okay, that's fine," he claimed. "The nature of Manchester United is always competition.
"In the case of Tim, he's got ability and youth on his side. It's a different environment from the US but we said the same thing about Peter Schmeichel's settling in period from Denmark, and you saw what happened there.
"His attributes are speed and reflexes. He has good presence. I've been nothing but very impressed and his performances in the Confederations Cup were excellent too.
"You can get a far better vision of how far he can go when you see him in that competition, but we'd virtually settled the deal anyway by then, and I feel our judgement is right.
"He's not short of experience in front of crowds. The Confederations Cup had a lot of focus on that.
"He'll need a bit of settling in, we're all aware of that, but the determination of the lad will be there."
Howard is hopeful of making a major impact at Old Trafford, and feels there is no bigger club on the planet.
"I think there's a settling in period no matter where you go," he stated.
"If I conduct myself well in training, and can only do good things. Everyone wants to play but they can't. I have to work hard, do well, and then that decision is no longer mine.
"It's flattering. I have some good tools and can exploit them and be a success. If the comparison comes (with Schmeichel), then great, but it's not my main objective.
"It's a fantasy really to even think of playing here. It was humbling and exciting, I didn't know where it would lead. I hoped to be sitting here but three or four months ago, I would never think that possible.
"It's the best club in the world. The people here show you how first class it is.
"It's been true (I've had Tourette's Syndrome) for 15 years. It's no big shakes. It's very simple. I couldn't explain how I deal with it because it's just natural to me.
"No explanation. It never has and never will have a negative effect (on my game). It doesn't manifest itself that way.
"It's huge (in America). The true soccer fans in America are going to eat this summer up! It's fantasy again and people who love soccer can't fathom what Manchester United is all about.
"I need to train well and find myself in the team. Playing there (on the US tour) would be great, being American, it'd be good timing but it's not most important."