International manager claims 31-year-old’s decision to leave Manchester United was ‘great’

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan labelled Darren Fletcher’s decision to leave Manchester United for West Bromwich Albion as 'great'.

Gordon Strachan told the Scotsman that Scotland captain Darren Fletcher was right to leave Manchester United and praised his improvement under new manager Tony Pulis at West Bromwich Albion.

Fletcher, 31, joined West Brom from United on a free transfer in February after his playing time at Old Trafford had significantly shortened under the management of Louis van Gaal.

Talking to the national press following Scotland’s 1-0 win over Northern Ireland on Wednesday, Strachan praised Fletcher’s improvement since the move and hinted Tony Pulis’ management was the reason behind it.

‘’I’m really pleased with Darren,’’ Strachan said. ‘’It was a big decision for him to move [to West Brom from Man Utd] but it’s been a good decision for him and a great decision for West Brom as well, because if you look at the improvement since Tony Pulis and Darren went along, it’s made a big difference.’’

The former United star took over the captaincy for Scotland in their game against Northern Ireland and impressed in the centre of midfield.

It was his first international start for Scotland since their 2-1 defeat to Germany in September and his first 90 minutes for his country since 2012.

Scotland, who play in a European Championship qualifier against Gibraltar on Sunday, are in a great position at the minute and will want to continue their push for a place in the 2016 European Championship finals in France.

Scotland are currently placed third in Group D, on the same points as Germany, and only three off table-topping Poland with six games remaining.

A fully fit Darren Fletcher would be a great boost for Strachan in his quest to take the Tartan Army to their first major tournament since 1998 and a good convincing win over Gibraltar on Sunday would only substantiate their bid further.

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