Fit-again Fletcher ready

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has backed new manager Louis van Gaal to revive the club - and says he is ready for a restorative season of his own.

Last Updated: 04/08/14 at 12:04 Post Comment

Darren Fletcher: Has played 270 minutes - more than any other Manchester United

Darren Fletcher: Has played 270 minutes - more than any other Manchester United

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Fletcher endured three years of pain and frustration after being diagnosed in 2011 with chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis.

But after a string of false starts, he has played a pivotal role in pre-season, clocking more minutes on the pitch than any other member of United's 26-man squad, and captaining the side to an impressive warm-up win over Real Madrid in Michigan.

"I don't want to look back, but everyone knows I've been through a lot," Fletcher said.

"I have not had a pre-season for three years but now I am back in the gym and I am feeling the benefits from that.

"I am getting stronger and hopefully I can get as fit as possible. I am looking forward to the new season.

"Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all finished above us last year but now we all want to show what we are capable of."

Van Gaal is the man tasked with turning United back into title contenders after last season's seventh-placed slump under David Moyes and Fletcher admits the Dutchman, despite demanding double training sessions as he implements a new 3-4-1-2 formation, has lifted the gloom.

"We have got a fantastic team spirit," Fletcher added.

"We were talking about it the other night among ourselves. We are all pulling in the right direction and we all want the best for Manchester United.

"The manager expects a lot from us and he thinks we have got the ability to do it.

"He demands a lot, but the players have responded.

"We are enjoying playing in a new system and under him."

Watch Manchester United take on Liverpool in the International Champions Cup final, live on Sky Sports 1 at 12.30am on Tuesday.

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I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

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ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
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