Fergie sets ultimatum for 'big game player' Fletcher

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Sir Alex Ferguson will do all he can to ensure Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is fit for the Champions League final.

Seen by many as a key component in the quest to defeat Barcelona at Wembley, the 27-year-old has played just 20 minutes of competitive football since March 6.

A stomach virus - which culminated in a significant weight loss - forced the Scotland captain to miss 15 games, but he made his long-awaited return as a second-half substitute against Schalke last week.

Fletcher will now be given the chance to prove his fitness prior to the final of Europe's premier club competition on May 28, with three matches between now and the Barca clash.

"Darren has put the weight back on and is back in training, but he has a bit to do yet," Ferguson said in the Daily Express. "But, as far as the final is concerned, there is almost three weeks to achieve that.

"If he does reach the target, it will be a big boost to us as we all know he is big-game player.

"The 20 minutes he got against Schalke last week was certainly a step forward. His training, in terms of sharpness for such an important game, will be stepped up now.


"We have the Blackburn and Blackpool matches plus Gary Neville's testimonial, so there is game-time there to help him."

Fletcher, meanwhile, is just delighted to back in action.

"I just want to contribute however I can," he told United Review. "Whether that's starting or coming off the bench, it doesn't matter.

"I just want to be involved, especially at this stage of the season. Challenging for trophies is what being a Manchester United player is all about and I want to be part of that."

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Premier League
Manchester United
Darren Fletcher

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