Fletcher: Painful memories a warning

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Football News

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has called on his team-mates to make sure there is no repeat of Benfica 2005.


The Old Trafford club only needed to avoid defeat to go through that year, but went down 2-1, eventually finishing bottom of their group.


Fletcher believes painful memories can spur them on to the result they require tomorrow night in Basel – United’s biggest match so far this season.


“It allows us to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, so it doesn’t get much bigger than this,” said the Scot.

“That’s where this club needs to be, so we know we have to get a positive result if that’s what we’re going to achieve.

“It’s all about the result at the end of the day, especially in this game. We need a positive result to get through to the next round.


“We’ll go to win the game because you never know what’s going to happen in the Benfica game – although we fully expect them to win.”


The Scotland captain warned that there can be no repeat of that disaster in Estadio la Luz six years ago.


There are still a number of players in the current squad who were there to experience that and Fletcher is certain that warnings against complacency will be voiced.


“We’ve got experience of it not going right when it comes down to the last game and so we’ll try to draw from that experience and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said

“There are a few of us still in the squad who experienced the disappointment of that night in 2005.


“We’ll reiterate that experience to the rest of the lads. But they’re fully aware we don’t want that to be the case.

“The difference is we know how bad that felt the last time it happened,” added the 27-year-old.


“But we’re not thinking like that, we’re thinking about getting a positive result, like we always do, and we’ll go there to win the game.

“I’m sure if we perform to the level we know we can then we’ll get the result that’s needed.”


United need only avoid defeat to make sure of their progress into the knockout stages.

UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Darren Fletcher

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