• Premier League

Fletcher: Fergie reined me in

ESPN staff
October 25, 2012
Darren Fletcher is back to full fitness © PA Photos

Darren Fletcher has revealed that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson kept him on track while he was sidelined last season.

Fletcher, whose career was in doubt after he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in December last year, is back to full fitness and played a pivotal role in United's victory on Tuesday as they came from behind to defeat Braga 3-2.

While the Scotland midfielder insists he never lost belief that he would make his comeback, he paid tribute to Ferguson and the United backroom staff for their support.

"I always had faith in myself," he told the Daily Mail. "But it helps to hear the manager's words of encouragement. That gives you extra confidence.

"I was so desperate to get back playing, I had to be kept in check a bit. I couldn't wait, but the manager told me I had to be patient, and all his staff made me fully aware of that.

"When you have been out for a long time, you are desperate to play and maybe push yourself a bit too much. But I had good people around me, like the sports science staff, the manager, [reserves coach] Warren Joyce.

"They were there with the reins, and they would just hold me back. Deep down, I knew they were right, but it is hard when you just want to make up for lost time."

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