Darren Fletcher wary of ex-Man United trio ahead of Black Cats tie
Manchester United's Darren Fletcher warns the Red Devils of Sunderland trio Wes Brown, Phil Bardsley and John O'Shea
Darren Fletcher has warned Manchester United that ex-Red Devils stars John O’Shea, Phil Bardsley and Wes Brown will be a threat in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.
Sunderland currently hold a slender 2-1 lead from the first leg at Stadium of Light after a Ryan Giggs own goal and Fabio Borini’s winner from the spot.
Three of our old friends at the back there – Bardo, Sheasy and Wes – pulled out great performances, as we know they’re capable of because they’re great players
O’Shea, Bardsley and Brown were all part of title-winning United squads before making the switch to the 20-time English champions.
But Fletcher vowed his friendship with the trio would be cast to one side until after the second leg, with Manchester City waiting in the Wembley final on 2 March.
“I thought it was a game we were in full control of until we lost a sloppy goal before half-time,” Fletcher told United Review.
“We went in 1-0 down and then I don’t think it was a penalty kick that gave Sunderland their winner, so a lot of things didn’t go our way.
“But fair play to Sunderland: they got behind the ball, made it very difficult and three of our old friends at the back there – Bardo, Sheasy and Wes – pulled out great performances, as we know they’re capable of because they’re great players.
“It’ll be the same in the second leg and we have to expect that, but we’ve got to believe in ourselves and believe we’re good enough to win the match.”
He added: “Yeah, I obviously know Sheasy and Wes very well, but as soon as you’re on the pitch it means nothing.
“Before the game there’ll be pleasantries but as soon as you’re on the pitch they’re just like any other opponent and you’re desperate to beat them, just like they’ll be desperate to come to Old Trafford and beat us.
“That’s the way it is. Any friendship is put aside for 90 minutes and after the game, no matter what the result – maybe after a few hours or a couple of days – you go back to being friends again. That’s what happened after the first leg.”