In part two of this interview with Darren Fletcher, the Scot discusses his role in the team, the inspiration of Ryan Giggs and reveals why he doesn't want to play football anywhere else in the world...
As you’ve developed into one of the key players, do you feel more pressure to control games and dictate play?
Everyone has to influence the game and as a central midfielder you can’t hide from that because you’re right in the middle of it all. There are loads of different ways you can be an influence, whether it’s winning tackles, picking out passes or setting the tempo of the play – but I see those things as my job. We have so many talented players that I don’t feel there’s an emphasis on me to win games, but I know my role in the team and I don’t try to go beyond that. If I’m doing my job right and everyone else does their job, with the quality we have we’ll come together and win. There are times when you have to step it up but everyone in this team knows their roles. Sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself for the greater need of the team so that someone else can come up with the winning goal or bit of magic. That’s something I’ve learned to do.
Pundits put you in the top bracket of midfielders in the country alongside Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Scholes. Do you see yourself within that company?
[Smiles] It’s not for me to say... I hope I bring something to the team that is needed and valued. I’m playing for one of the best teams in the world. That’s something I’m proud of. There are brilliant midfielders in this league and I love testing myself against them. You hear about great midfielders and there’s nothing better than having a real go at them to see how good they are. That’s a challenge I’ve always enjoyed, whether it’s playing against top teams in Europe, in England, or against Roy Keane and Paul Scholes in training as I have done over the years. It’s still a challenge every day in training against Scholesy. I really enjoy it and playing against players of his quality helps me a great deal.