Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher insists he will reclaim his place as a regular member of the Red Devils' first team, following his return from a long-term injury.
The 28 year old Scottish midfielder has made over 300 appearances for the club since being promoted to the first team in 2002 but has not played in the league since November last year, after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
Fletcher returned to training with the United squad early in August but has been limited to appearances with the reserve team and games in the Champions League and Capital One Cup. However, Fletcher's target is the Premier League and the tough-tackling Scot is eager to turn out for the Old Trafford club, in the league, as soon as possible.
"It's what it's all about. Getting as many games as possible," he told Manchester United TV (MUTV), adding, "I know the manager has got such a big squad now, especially in the midfield area, and there is a lot of competition for places. I have to be patient and wait for my chances but, hopefully, one will come around sooner rather than later."
The midfielder made his comeback as a second-half substitute in the Champions League opener against Turkish side Galatasaray and he received a standing ovation from the United faithful when he took to the pitch. However, Fletcher is realistic enough to acknowledge that he cannot, in terms of match fitness, expect to pick up where he left off.
"To get as many 90 minutes as possible is great just now. After not playing for a long time, it's important to get games back into your legs. I was just desperate to get back involved in any way, shape or form," he admitted to the club's media outlets, explaining, "For me, firstly playing for the reserves was massive and a great achievement. Going into every game, I treat them the same. It doesn't matter where it is - the reserves, Capital One Cup, back in Scotland - every match is the same when you get across that line and just want to get back to winning ways."
Meanwhile, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he was delighted with Fletcher's recovery but perhaps the best indication of the fact Fletcher is back and ready to compete at the highest level is his call-up to his national team, for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium.
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