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Sir Alex Ferguson urges Scotland to play Darren Fletcher

Sir Alex Ferguson urges Scotland to play Darren FletcherSir Alex Ferguson has urged Craig Levein to select Darren Fletcher for Scotland's Euro 2012 qualifying matches against the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Fletcher, who has been beset by illness since the latter part of last season, could captain the Scots as the Czechs visit Hampden Park on Saturday.

"Sir Alex phoned Craig to say 'put him in'," Scotland's assistant manager, Peter Houston, said. "Craig's always going to ask the question regarding fitness levels and Sir Alex spoke to him and said to get him in, that he's fine."

Houston, in claiming Fletcher looks "exceptionally well", believes the international team may do Ferguson a favour. "You're talking about a Manchester United team that's playing quite well just now, so Sir Alex may be thinking about Manchester United and Scotland," Houston said.

"If Darren gets game time up here it'll benefit him for getting back into the United team if need be. Sir Alex is a passionate Scotsman, he wants us to win these games. But if Darren gets two games under his belt and does well, we'll do well and Fergie's a winner."

Scotland are unconcerned by Fletcher's lack of match action. The 27-year-old has appeared for United only twice since early March, neither of those outings coming this season. "He's a lad whose general fitness levels are good‚ he doesn't carry any weight and I think his experience would get him through," Houston added.

"There are loads of times when he doesn't play for Manchester United when he's been fit. He's maybe been on the bench or not playing and Ferguson's not shy about throwing him in. He's a lad whose general fitness doesn't go away. His levels are good and he can pass the ball very well."

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ewan Murray, for guardian.co.uk on Wednesday 31st August 2011 23.00 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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