Levein wants more from Fletcher

07 September 2010 07:43
Scotland boss Craig Levein is still trying to work out how to bring the best out of Darren Fletcher as his captain prepares for his 50th cap.

The Manchester United midfielder has often been criticised for failing to replicate his club form at international level and has admitted himself in the past that he has more to offer the national team.

Now, as he prepares to reach a personal milestone against Liechtenstein in the Scots' first Euro 2012 qualifier at home, Levein has told Fletcher he wants to see more from him in the dark blue of Scotland.

He said: "He's a lovely guy and a fantastic player.

"I think there is more to come from him. I'm still looking at him and trying to work out how to get the best out of him.

"I thought on Friday I saw the energetic part of his game, which was really pleasing to see.

"But I'd like to see more, I'd like to see him being a creative influence on the game and maybe even providing an end product at times.

"He's got 50 caps in quite a quick space of time and he's now maturing into a very good player.

"I think he's got a big part to play, certainly he has a big part to play in the dressing room with regard his attitude and the way he leads by example. I'm chuffed to bits for him."

Fletcher said: "I've always been of the opinion that I'll try and follow the instructions of the manager on the pitch.

"Whatever the manager asks of me to do, I'd like to think I was disciplined enough to do it and try to replicate that on the pitch. That's the way I've gone into every game.

"Different managers expect different things, different games you're expected to do different things tactically and I'll always try and follow those instructions to the best of my ability."

Looking ahead to his 50th appearance, Fletcher added: "It's a nice moment in my career.

"To have 50 caps for your country makes you very privileged and proud.

"Although my focus this week has mainly been on the game - I've not really been thinking about that.

"That's a personal thing that will come after the game. What's important this week is getting the points in the two games.

"We've had the Lithuania game now and our focus is on getting the three points against Liechtenstein."

And Fletcher insists he is not even contemplating the prospect of one day emulating Kenny Dalglish by making a century of appearances for Scotland.

"I'm not setting myself a target of reaching 100 caps," he said.

"You just enjoy your moment playing for your country. I'm only 26 years old so hopefully I've got a few more years left playing for my country.

"To be spoken about getting anywhere near Kenny Dalglish is a real honour.

"He's one of the greatest players of all time, a great Scottish player. I'm just thinking of games and taking each game as it comes."

Meanwhile, Levein has refuted suggestions from the Lithuanian camp that his criticism of the referee after their goalless draw in Kaunas was simply an attempt to deflect attention away from Scotland's inability to win the game.

He said: "I thought the performance was what I was looking for, albeit we didn't score a goal. I think you'll find that Lithuania disappointed.

"They said that they hoped to finish second in their group and they have lost two points in their first match. I think you'll find that there is only one smokescreen there."

Source: Team_Talk