Fletcher: I'll be ready when Moyes calls upon me

Darren Fletcher

The Scotland international has been on the sidelines consistently over the last two years due to bowel illness, but is seemingly on the mend.

Manchester United got a timely boost last night when Darren Fletcher put on a Red Devils shirt for the first time in ten months.

The Scotland international has been largely on the sidelines for the last two years, as the midfielder has struggled with bowel illness.

However, Fletcher played for the United under-21 side that drew 2-2 with the London side at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on Monday night.

He operated in a defensive midfield role in a 4-2-3-1 system, and was keen to get on the ball. Reports indicate that he was still sheepish in some 50-50 tackles, but he performed well before being substituted after 67 minutes.

When asked if he was in line for a first-team return, the Scot said he was taking it one step at a time.

“You'll have to speak to David Moyes. He's been speaking to me regularly, he's busy with the first team but has given me the time,” Fletcher said.

“I'm going to get a few more under-21 games and play full games, not just 60 minutes. They train fantastically and I'll make sure I'm ready when the manager calls upon me.

“(The staff) have been great, especially Steve McNally, he's worked to get myself right and back on track, and the support from the club has been fantastic, from Alex Ferguson to David Moyes and David Gill.

“It's been a long time, it's good to get back. I enjoyed the game, the next progression is getting a bit more match time.

“The plan was to get to half-time and see how I felt, then 60 minutes and see from there. The plan was not to play more than that and upset the sports science lads.”

For United, having Fletcher return to full fitness and become available for the first team would be a major boost. It is widely accepted that Moyes has a lack of top-quality options in the middle of the park, with the champions failing to take a stranglehold on games of late.

Fletcher would not be the answer to United’s problems creatively, but he would add energy, determination and dynamism to the side upon his return.

The Scot was a driving force in Sir Alex Ferguson’s United sides of the past, and has the desire and work-rate to inspire his team-mates and the fans.

Although he will still be some way from full fitness, just to have him back training regularly and getting back to health is a fantastic bonus for the Old Trafford side.

images: © apasciuto, © apasciuto

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