Darren Fletcher hoping for more Champions League luck

26 September 2011 11:35
Preparation: Darren Fletcher (right)

Darren Fletcher is determined to win the Champions League after suffering the heartbreak of missing three finals.

The midfielder was a frustrated bystander against Chelsea in 2008, while suspension and selection prevented him from facing Barcelona during United's two final defeats in 009 and 2011.

But as he preprares to face Basel on Wednesday night, the Scotland captain hopes this can finally be his year.

'I've just had a bit of bad luck when it comes to Champions League finals,' he said.

'We've made it to three and I've not played in any of them. It's a massive goal to not only play, but to win aChampions League final.

'I think the English teams have become a lot more dominant. That's been fairly noticeable in the last few years. We've (United) built up experience playing in Europe, especially the team we have now. A lot of us have been playing together for four or five years. We've found a way and a style of playing.

'We know how important it is to keep the ball. It is different to the Premier League - you give the ball awayin Europe and foreign teams can keep the ball for long periods. We havelearnt to adapt, we've got used to the travel, coming back and playing games. All that experience we've built up has really helped us over the years.'

United's clash with Basel conjures up happy memories for Fletcher, who made his Reds debut against the Swiss champions in 2003.

Back in the day: Fletcher (second right) against Basel in 2003

'I'm obviously not going to treat thematch any differently than I usually would, but it does bring back memories of making my debut in the Champions League which I was very fortunate to do.

'I just remember thinking about all the people who'd had a massive influence on me getting to that point in my career - school teachers, coaches, parents, family, all the coaches at United, the manager - people who had put in a lot of work and effort to help me.

'Then you've got all the pressure of playing for United and the fact you're desperate to do well. Sometimes that can be a hindrance and I remember a lot of the experienced lads telling me just to play my own game.

'But obviously that goes out of the window because you're so excited and so desperate to do well. I think myfirst touch was a backheel which managed to come off so my confidence was okay after that!'

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Source: Daily_Mail