Fletcher: Don't be fooled by talk

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Darren Fletcher has warned his Manchester United team-mates not to be taken in by the defeatist talk coming out of the Celtic camp ahead of their Champions League clash at Parkhead.

Hoops manager Gordon Strachan has virtually dismissed any hope of a home win that would rescue their hopes of reaching the knockout stage, while Celtic's dismal display at Old Trafford a fortnight ago has merely heightened an inferiority complex within Scottish ranks.

But as a seasoned member of the national side, Fletcher knows it is all part of the plan. "You have to take everything they say with a pinch of salt," he said. "I know some of the Scottish players in the Celtic team. Although they respect the opposition, on their day they feel as though they can beat anyone."

He added: "They are building us up now but when the match starts, all reputations will be put to one side because they want our scalp."

Celtic's situation is so perilous they have to win. United are in the happy position of knowing they will probably qualify regardless but Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to reach the knockout phase with two matches to spare.

In order to do that, Fletcher knows the visitors must strangle the voices of a passionate home support who will raise the roof if they sense Celtic have a sniff of a chance.

"The fans will be Celtic's extra man," said the Dalkeith-born player.

"It will take a lot more to quieten a crowd than it usually does because they are so passionate.

"The Celtic fans are great and even if their team is under the cosh they will still get behind them. But we have learned to deal with it in the past and we will have to deal with it again."

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European News
Gordon Strachan
Manchester United
Darren Fletcher

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