Fletcher turns down Burley plea
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher on Tuesday rejected a plea from Scotland boss George Burley to sit out Sunday's Community Shield match against Chelsea. Burley was desperate to secure the early release of Fletcher for next Wednesday's crucial World Cup qualifier in Norway. The Scotland boss had been in discussions with the player and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over the issue, but Press Association Sport understands Fletcher did not want to jeopardise his place in the pecking order at Old Trafford. After naming his 23-man squad for the Group Nine clash in Oslo, Burley confirmed Fletcher would be his captain in the absence of Celtic's Stephen McManus. He will now be praying the 25-year-old steers clear of injury at Wembley this weekend, having already lost a number of midfielders for next week's showdown. Fletcher will fly to Scotland to link up with the squad shortly after Sunday's game. The majority of the party will convene on Thursday, but the seven Coca-Cola Championship players selected will be on club duty this weekend and will join their international team-mates on Sunday.
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