Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that if Darren Fletcher can get match fit before the Champions League final, he will get the chance to play.
Fletch missed out on our last final in 2009 after a disgraceful decision to send him off in the semi-final against Arsenal when we were 3-0 up. He won the ball from Cesc Fabregas but the referee chose to give him a straight red card and award a penalty.
Whilst Fergie tries to avoid sentimentality, he did concede that Paul Scholes would get to play in the 2008 final after missing out through suspension in 1999. Scholes scored the goal that put us in the final that year though, with just the one goal over two legs against Barcelona enough to see us through, which cast aside any doubts that Scholes was playing for any reason other than his own merit.
“Darren has put the weight back on and is back in training, but he has a bit to do yet,” he said. “But, as far as the final is concerned, there is almost three weeks to achieve that. If he does reach the target, it will be a big boost to us as we all know he is big-game player. The 20 minutes he got against Schalke last week was certainly a step forward. His training, in terms of sharpness for such an important game, will be stepped up now.”
If Fletcher is fit for the final, it will certainly give the manager something to think about and could cost Chicharito his place in the starting line-up. I’m sure the manager would be happy with the strength of Park, Giggs, Carrick, Fletcher and Valencia in midfield, with Rooney up front. Without Fletch, it could mean Rooney played deeper with Chicharito up front.
Let’s hope Fletch get 90 minutes under his belt against Blackburn and Blackpool and then see what happens…