FOOTBALL NEWS

26/09/2012 23:13, Report by Adam Marshall
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Fletcher a proud skipper

Darren Fletcher admits he was a proud man to skipper United for the first time in the Capital One Cup win against Newcastle.

The Scot made his first start following a protracted absence from the game due to ulcerative colitis after coming on as a subsitute in the recent Champions League victory over Galatasaray. Although clearly delighted to be representing the Reds again, he was quick to stress that the team's success is at the forefront of his mind.

"It's my first time as captain of Manchester United," he told MUTV. "It's a fantastic moment, something you dream about. Obviously, having done it for my country means a lot but to do it for United as well [is incredible]. However, the most important thing, despite all these things like me coming back and being captain, was for us to win the game.

"I thought we played very well. We had a diamond formation in midfield and passed the ball well, creating some good chances. We were unfortunate not to go in a couple of goals ahead at half time and, when we went 2-0 up, we conceded a goal and it was a little bit difficult towards the end. They had a lot of high balls in the box but we defended it reasonably well, have seen it out and got a victory."

Fletcher felt Wayne Rooney was a major influence in a deeper role than usual and also lavished praise on rookie defenders Michael Keane and Scott Wootton.

"Wayne was slotting in behind the strikers and enjoying it," added the Scot. "He was getting on the ball, pinging it wide left and right and using his experience. He's a fantastic player with great imagination and enthusiasm and it's great for United to have a lot of players competing for places. It's going to bring out the best in everyone.

"The two centre-backs were talking to me the whole game and for two young centre halves playing against good strikers they were fantastic and it was a fine performance for them. I think it was a good team performance.

"It's brilliant [to see the kids come through]. It's what this club is all about. You're prepared for that at a young age and to finally make your debut at Old Trafford, all of them performed fantastically and showed they're capable and

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