Darren Fletcher

Fletcher: I can’t wait to get started

Monday 04 January 2021 17:06

Darren Fletcher says he is thrilled to work with such a “fantastic” Manchester United squad as he embarks on his new role as a first-team coach.

It was confirmed on Monday that the Scotsman has returned to the club as part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching staff and the 36-year-old is looking forward to the next challenge in his football journey.

Speaking to our reporter Adam Marshall after his first day on the job, Darren said he is hoping to draw on his experiences as a player at United and impart some of the knowledge he gained during that time.
Fletcher's United story continues Video

Fletcher's United story continues

Darren is back with the United first team as a coach, following his glittering playing career...

“I’m delighted to be back and excited to work with the staff: Ole, Kieran [McKenna], Carras [Michael Carrick], Mike Phelan and the rest of the coaches; the players, you know some fantastic players to work with at the beginning of my coaching journey.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m just delighted to finally be in today, my first day in a new job today. I spoke to Ole a couple of weeks ago and it’s finally getting things sorted to come in today.

“It’s been a unique experience. I’ve been a player but now I’m on the side, on the coaching staff, so it’s a little bit different. I’m buzzing and cannot wait to get started.”
Fletch held his first session on Monday morning as United gear up for our Carabao Cup semi-final with Manchester City on Wednesday.

While the former midfielder enjoyed being back among things at the Aon Training Complex, it was very much straight down to business ahead of such a huge game.

“I can’t reminisce and catch-up and all this,” he explained. “The training session was good, the players were at it, the atmosphere was good, the camaraderie was good. 

“Knowing some of the players but getting to meet some of the other ones for the first time, it takes a few days. These things will be like getting to know people in my first few weeks.

“Very quickly, they’ll get to know me and I’ll get to know them and be able to start putting my mark on a few and making a bit of an influence.”
During his time as a Red, Darren experienced plenty of highs, including winning five league titles, the Champions League and the FA Cup, while playing alongside some United legends.

However, the Scot did endure challenging periods during his playing days, such as breaking into the team during a transition period for the side, suffering from an inflammatory illness and being relegated with Stoke City in 2018.

It’s both the good and the bad that Darren is hoping to draw on as he takes his first steps into the world of coaching.

“I think the biggest thing about playing for Manchester United is it’s the biggest club in the world,” said Fletcher. “It’s the club that comes under the most scrutiny and is different to any other club.
Reaction to Fletcher's first-team appointment Video

Reaction to Fletcher's first-team appointment

Watch as Wes Brown, Danny Webber and the MUTV Group Chat panel assess Monday's coaching announcement...

“You have to be prepared in a number of ways, not on the pitch but off the pitch and mentally, if you play for Manchester United. 

“I’ve been through a number of experiences with Manchester United,” he added. “I’ve been a young lad coming through the Academy, I’ve come back from injury, I’ve come back from illness, I’ve been through a period where we haven’t won for a while, I’ve been through great successes. So I’ve had a full journey with Manchester United.

“I like to think I’ve been in a number of situations where maybe players haven’t at different stages of their career and I’m just desperate to pass on advice; how people helped me and how, at the same time, I helped myself.

“I’m trying to influence and impact on the team in a positive way, alongside the manager and the great coaches we have. Hopefully, I can add a small percentage that will propel us forward.”