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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Sir Alex boosts Fletch hopes

Darren Fletcher has been assured he is very much part of Sir Alex Ferguson's plans for next season.

Fletcher was restricted to 11 starts last term, due to the strong competition for places in United’s midfield and a knee injury which sidelined him for most of April.

But the Scot’s superb two-goal FA Cup display against Arsenal in February demonstrated his ability to rise to the occasion, a trait Ferguson values highly.

The Reds boss told Sky Sports: “He’s been very unlucky, but he keeps coming back. He’s an important player to us.

“He always plays well in big games – that’s the great value he brings to the club. He’s a big-game player and we’ve plenty of big games, so he’ll play his part.”

Fletcher revealed in May that his frustration at not playing every week motivates him to succeed when he does get a chance.

“You have to take disappointment and use it as a fuel,” the 24-year-old said. “If you’re not selected then you have to think to yourself ‘I’m going to make an impact if I get on’. You can’t let your head get down at all.

“I’ve picked up injuries at bad times when I’ve got into the team and started to play well. We have a great squad here and I have to be patient.”

Ronaldo: Decision still pending

The decision on whether Cristiano Ronaldo will have surgery on his right ankle is still to be made, contrary to Thursday morning media reports.

Twelve hours after issuing a statement, a United spokesman reiterated: "Procedures are in place to seek specialist advice, in order to finalise the treatment plan as soon as possible."

The original club statement, as released on Wednesday evening, stated: "Manchester United medical staff met with the medical team from the Portuguese FA and Cristiano Ronaldo in Lisbon today regarding the ongoing treatment of his injured right ankle.

"As a result, further specialist advice is being sought and an announcement will be made on any action in due course." Read more...

Reds fight to keep Carlos

Manchester United have offered Carlos Queiroz a new salary of £1.5million to turn down the Portugal job and stay on as Sir Alex Ferguson's No.2. Queiroz has been formally approached by the Portuguese Football Federation to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari - now in charge of Chelsea - as chief coach of the national team on a salary of £1.1m. United's bullish confidence that Queiroz would turn down the Portugal opportunity to remain as Fergie's assistant is said to have wavered over the last 24 hours, prompting the hefty pay-rise offer. Fergie is understood to have implored Queiroz to stay but, having not stood in his assistant's way when the Real Madrid job came up five years ago, the United boss knows he may ultimately be unsuccessful once again.
Staff reporter, Daily Mirror