Updated: 04/08/2014 07:02 | By pa.press.net

Fit-again Fletcher raring to go



Darren Fletcher has spent much of the last three years on the sidelines due to ulcerative colitis

Darren Fletcher has spent much of the last three years on the sidelines due to ulcerative colitis

After three years of pain and frustration, Darren Fletcher's road to recovery finally appears to be nearing its end.

Fletcher captained Manchester United to their fourth and most impressive pre-season win on Saturday when they defeated Real Madrid 3-1 at Michigan Stadium in front of 109,318 spectators.

With all the focus being on Louis van Gaal, the story of Fletcher's return to the first-team has flown under the radar over the last fortnight.

The Scot has played more minutes (270) than any other member of the 26-man squad, which is an impressive feat considering what he has been through in the last few seasons.

In 2011 Fletcher was diagnosed with chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis.

The debilitating illness left Fletcher "running to the toilet 10, 20, 30 times a day," he explained recently.

As a result, Fletcher has spent nearly two of the last three years on the sidelines.

It is no surprise, therefore, that he is happy to be back to full fitness.

"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."

For a man who has dedicated the last 19 years of his life to Manchester United, last season's seventh-place under David Moyes was hard to take.

The midfielder and his team-mates want to prove that was nothing but a blip.

"Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea all finished above us last year so it was disappointing for us," he said.

"Next season we all want to show what we are capable of.

"We have got a fantastic team spirit. 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.

"We realise some experienced players have gone and it's up to us to come together and get us back up there."

It may just be pre-season, but the fact that three of United's four wins on tour have come against some of Europe's top clubs has given the squad optimism about the season ahead.

Van Gaal must take credit for installing that confidence among the playing staff.

The contrast between the atmosphere in the camp and the final weeks of Moyes' reign could not be greater.

The players are happy to undertake double training sessions under their new manager and they have adapted well to Van Gaal's 3-4-1-2 formation.

The players are smiling again. And so is the manager, who was happy to chat and pose for photographs with fans after the match in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

"We are just enjoying it," Fletcher said when asked about the difference between this season and the last.

"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."

There could be no finer way for Van Gaal to round off his first tour as United boss than with a win over Liverpool in the International Champions Cup final on Monday.

It may be just another friendly on paper, but the rivalry between the two arch rivals makes the Miami showdown an enticing prospect.

"It's Man Utd v Liverpool. It doesn't matter if it's pre-season. We want to win," said Fletcher, who is confident of overcoming a calf injury to play.

Just like United, Liverpool have experienced a summer of upheaval, with star striker Luis Suarez departing for Barcelona.

The Reds have registered wins over Manchester City, AC Milan and Olympiacos while in the US though so they will be confident of taking home the one million US dollar prize (£600,000) too.

Liverpool will be without Daniel Sturridge as he has been sent home for treatment on a hamstring injury which kept him out of Saturday's 2-0 win over AC Milan.

"Dan has flown back to the UK," Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said.

"He had a really, really slight feeling in his hamstring. It's nothing major."

27Comments
03/08/2014 16:00
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Congratulations to Darren Fletcher a true professional, welcome back and have a great season.
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I suffer from the same illness as he does  however because I have other medical and mental issues it manifests itself in a different way .   My sh#t comes out of my mouth
03/08/2014 23:57
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The debilitating illness left Fletcher "running to the toilet 10, 20, 30 times a day," he explained recently.

As a result, Fletcher has spent nearly two of the last three years on the sidelines.

 

30 X A DAY  X  365 DAYS A YEAR = 10950,

3 X 10950  = 32,850

 

THATS ROUGHLY ONCE EVERY 8 MINUTES

BY THE TIME HE`S DONE IT, WALKED BACK SAT DOWN HES MORE OR LESS GOT GET UP AGAIN TO GO DO IT AGAIN. VAT IS PAINFUL.

 

04/08/2014 14:46
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He will play a major part in United this season. Great to have him back.
04/08/2014 19:19
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Oh did he hurt himself ??? wants to stop diving the wrong way, should do as he been shown many times in training at the swamp you wouldnt hurt yourself ya muppet LOL...

Another dirty little sly one from the swamp LMAO

WINK WINK .... GOOD TIMING, THE TRANSFER WINDOW NEARLY CLOSED LMFAO

03/08/2014 19:45
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I know how Darren feels about running to the toilet 10 , 20, 30 times a day, I get rice krispies all the time. :)
04/08/2014 16:27
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I MITE NOT BE ANY GUD AT MATHS BUT THEN AGAIN NEITHER IS GORDON BROWN.

 AND HE WAS THE CHANCELLOR.

OR SO HE MADE OUT

THATS WHY VIS COUNTRY IS  IN A BIG BIG MESS

NO ONE CAN COUNT UNLESS ITS  5 AND UNDER.

BIT LIKE THE PENALTIES MAN UTD AND LIVERPOOL MITE GET THIS SEASON.

 

ROLE ON FUTTY SEASON.

GUD LUCK EVERYBODY.

 

04/08/2014 16:29
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ANYWAY GOOD LUCK DARREN

HOPE YOU ARE FIT ENOUGH AND RARING TO GO

HOPE YOU ENJOY THE NEW SEASON.

MITE BRING A BIT OF STABILILTY BACK INTO THE TEAM

 

03/08/2014 16:23
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Worst player in the league just a kicker like scholes the dutchman will get rid of him the same way he will hunt shtrek

03/08/2014 16:29
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Does this t0sser play international football
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