Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Ferguson expects Fletcher return



Alex Ferguson is confident Darren Fletcher will return to play an important role for Manchester United despite undergoing surgery for a career-threatening bowel condition.

The 28-year-old Scotland captain will miss the rest of the season following an operation to alleviate the ulcerative colitis that has dogged him for the best part of two years.

United manager Ferguson revealed Friday that Fletcher's condition had taken a turn for the worse recently, but he expects the midfielder to continue his fight against the ailment once he can return to action ahead of the 2013/14 season.

"This is something we thought would happen (at some stage) anyway," Ferguson said. "He tried his best to cope with the condition with the treatments he was using, but in the last couple of weeks it's just come back again.

"Hopefully this operation solves the situation in terms of his career in the game and we expect him to be back in July.

"It's a blow for the boy, but given that he's been dealing with the condition for a couple of years now it's just another step towards something very important – firstly, his health and secondly, his career.

"He'll need time to recover, it will be quite a while. But he's a fantastic character, an absolutely briliant boy, and he will do his best – he always does."

Fletcher attempted to play through his illness, which was eventully revealed in December 2011 after the club had earlier cited a mystery virus as the reason for his absences.

He returned to the United first team in September after 10 months out of the game, while revealing in November he was still struggling with his health.

Nevertheless, the Old Trafford midfield enforcer has made 13 appearances this season, the last as a substitute in the 4-3 win against Newcastle on December 26.

Ferguson, who always believed that Fletcher's suspension from the 2009 Champions League final was instrumental in Barcelona's victory, sees him in more of a holding role when he does come back.

"I felt he had to change his game," the United manager explained. "When he played in games this season, he wasn't the Darren Fletcher of three or four years ago.

"We started using him in front of the back four, which he did very well, and that could be his real role in the future.

"Some of his performances were very good. So I'm sure that when he comes back – and I'm sure he will – it will be in a different role."

Meanwhile, Ferguson extended his sympathies to Nigel Adkins, the latest Premier League managerial casualty after being sacked by Southampton on Friday.

The south coast club have improved of late, moving out of the relegation zone and earning an unxpected point in a 2-2 draw against European champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday

Ferguson, the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, having arrived at Old Trafford in 1986, said: "It's a crazy world. I find it hard to believe.

"He (Adkins) got a great result at Chelsea after being 2-0 down. But there's no point in saying I'm surprised. Strange things happen in football, but it does seem unfair."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
United did well against Chelsea
To a lot of people the celebrations that greeted Robin van Persie’s equaliser “represented how low...

Sunday Oliseh
El Clasico gave a glimpse of the future
Real Madrid were deserving winners of the El Clasico at the weekend. A closer look seems to reveal...

John Dykes
United’s Felli-good factor
He was on their books for 10 years as a player, won everything with them and even coached them last...

Emeka Enyadike
Conversations with Senzo
I woke up this morning to the rude shock of the senseless shooting of Senzo Meyiwa and I still...

Carol Radull
Let the chickens hatch K'ogalo
Last year was an exception but I think “it is written” that the Tusker Premier League must go down...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Listen to the fans Rodgers
While in the UK I decided to do what every Liverpool fan would try and do - catch a game.