Solskjaer: Fletch has got good ideas

Wednesday 06 January 2021 09:00

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says now was the right time to bring Darren Fletcher back to the club as a first-team coach.

The former Reds midfielder, who concluded his playing career at Stoke City in the summer of 2019, joined the backroom staff at United earlier this week.

He has been helping to coach our Under-16s since October, but Ole has been impressed enough with his former team-mate to promote him to senior duties.

Fletcher was pictured alongside former team-mate Michael Carrick at his first training session, on Monday, and Solskjaer was keen to point out what the 36-year-old could offer.

“Yeah, I thought Michael and Darren should play in midfield for one of these big games!” Ole joked, in an interview with club media. “No, it’s good to have him back.

“Fletch has been very important for this club for many years. I’ve known him since he was a young boy coming through as a 16-year-old and [former assistant] Mark Dempsey, he’s moved down to the Academy helping out there more.

“We had an opening, an open spot and with Darren having been away for a few years I thought it was important that we brought him in, because he’s got very many good opinions and ideas about football and I thought he’s been in with the [Under-]16s, starting his coaching.

“We felt it was right bringing him in now.”

Fletcher’s appointment means the club’s first-team coaching staff now boast over 1,300 games of United playing experience, with the European Cup-winner joining Carrick, Mike Phelan and, of course, Solskjaer himself, as part of the set-up.

When asked if having a group of people versed in the club was an integral part of his plan, Ole replied that, although United know-how is valued, fitting into the existing team is more important. “I think it’s important that we know what we are working for and working towards,” Solskjaer continued.

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...

“Many of us we’ve been successful here, we’ve won trophies, we’ve been here for many, many years and we know what it takes to be a Man United player and coach. I like that idea. It’s not a must.

“We’ve got coaches here as well, with Richard [Hartis], Craig [Mawson], Martyn [Pert], Kieran [McKenna], they’ve not played for Man United but they’ve got different skillsets and attributes that really make this coaching staff work.

“They all complement each other and that’s a key word: that we complement and challenge each other and move the club forward. We know what kind of values we want. It says in the word United: we are a team. We stay together and it’s a joy coming in and seeing these lads work every day.

“They help the players improve individually and spend so much energy on trying to improve the team as well. It’s a fantastic group.”