Galatasaray v Man United: Darren Fletcher relishing leadership role

Galatasaray v Man United: Darren Fletcher insists he is relishing a leadership role in a young Red Devils team for Tuesday's clash

sir alex ferguson
Darren Fletcher was ruled out for almost a year with ulcerative colitis The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

Darren Fletcher says he is relishing a leadership role as an inexperienced Manchester United side brace themselves for a hostile atmosphere at Galatasaray’s Türk Telekom Arena on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old has started four games for the Red Devils this season, all in the Capital One Cup and Champions League, after returning from a prolonged absence due to ulcerative colitis.

Fletcher, who made his Champions League debut aged 19, is one of the most experienced members of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 21-man squad for the Galatasaray encounter.

With Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie among the noticeable absentees, the Scotland international is comfortable with the added responsibility.

“I’m 28 and one of the most senior players in the squad,” he told United’s website.

“But it’s a role I’m used to with Scotland – you talk to the younger players, give them encouragement.

“I appreciated that sort of thing when I was young. I had a little word in my ear – nothing much, you don’t want to force too much information – but I really appreciated those words of advice. Hopefully [these guys] will as well when I do it.

“We’re expecting a really hostile atmosphere. But if you want to play at this club you have to play in big matches and you have to experience and deal with atmospheres like the one we’re going to have here.”

Galatasaray v Man United: Pre-match facts

• Galatasaray have taken just a point from two Group H home fixtures to date and have not won at home in Europe in five games, since beating Panathinaikos 1-0 in the Europa League group stage in December 2009.

• Galatasaray beat United on away goals in the 1993-94 second round after a 3-3 aggregate draw. Ryan Giggs and Mike Phelan, now United’s assistant manager, played in the 0-0 draw in the second leg.

• Galatasaray’s last home encounter with Premier League opposition brought a 3-2 victory over Liverpool in 2006-07. Their record against English sides at the Ali Sami Yen Spor Kompleksi is W2 D3 L2.

• Milan Baroš scored once in ten appearances against United with Liverpool, Aston Villa and Portsmouth. The only games that did not end in defeat were Liverpool’s 2002-03 League Cup final win and Portsmouth’s 1-0 FA Cup quarter-final success at Old Trafford in 2007-08.

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