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04/11/2008 11:40,
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The Carrington Clan

For a select few at United’s Carrington training ground, the trip to Scotland this week is something of a homecoming. We caught up with the Reds’ very own Tartan army…

Sir Alex Ferguson
Role: Manager
Joined United: Nov 1986
Born: Glasgow
Scottish team: Rangers
“There is a wind of change blowing north of the border. In fact, you can take Manchester United as a barometer of Scottishness in the English game. At one time Old Trafford always had a couple of Scots in the team with outstanding players like Martin Buchan, Gordon McQueen and Joe Jordan, but Brian McClair was the last regular in the team until Darren Fletcher came along. And what a fine player he is. Whenever we hit a sticky patch and are going into a big game, I turn to Darren and he responds like the cavalry. He’s an intelligent player who knows what he is good at, concentrating on his strengths. Darren may be the first in a revival of Scottish talent. These things go in cycles. We still have scouts in Scotland and they tell me there are some good young players emerging. It’s time we had a few Scots to liven things up and spark some of the old banter. I lost a fortune when Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson were here and we had bets whenever the Scots and English were involved in matches - not just football, rugby as well. I suppose I got carried away by national loyalty, but it would be nice to have a few more Scots winners, like Darren, around again.”

Darren Fletcher
Role: First-team player
Joined United: July 2000 (trainee)
Born: Dalkieth, Midlothian
Scottish team: Celtic
“Scottish players usually have something about them that makes them stand out. I’m not saying we’re all charging around like Braveheart, but we’re very proud and patriotic. The way I look at it is that I’m playing in a different country and I want to do my country proud. That’s something that’s part of your mindset – always to do as well as you can and give everything you’ve got. Look at Denis Law, United fans worshipped him, not only because he was he a brilliant goalscorer, but because of the way he played. He had such a direct style and never gave up. There is a strong Scottish influence at this club. The managers, Sir Matt and Sir Alex, have been unbelievable at United. On the playing side there was Law, Paddy Crerand, Lou Macari, Martin Buchan, Gordon Strachan and Brian McClair.

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