Monday 19 March 2018

'He was hard on me but he was always fair' - Darren Fletcher clarifies his relationship with Roy Keane

Roy Keane and Darren Fletcher training during their Manchester United days
Roy Keane and Darren Fletcher training during their Manchester United days

Harry Clarke

Darren Fletcher has admitted he was left "frustrated" by the perception that he did not have the respect of his former Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane.

Keane once claimed that he 'can't understand why people in Scotland rave about Darren Fletcher', with the Irishman seemingly scathing of the midfielder who had become a kingpin of the Scottish national team.

Yet Fletcher has suggested Keane never undermined him at United and insisted he learned from the example set by the former United skipper.

“It frustrates me that some people think Roy didn’t rate me because he probably moulded me more than any other player I have known,” he told the Daily Mail.

“He was hard on me but he was always fair. If he spoke to me 10 times, nine were compliments. If I was late, Roy would let me know. If my passing wasn’t on in training then Roy would let me know.

“People remember the controversial stories and the times he went mental. But the rest of the time he made me feel on top of the world.

“What about the story where I’ve been out for two months and Roy says loudly ‘I am glad this lad’s back. We have missed him’. That’s not a great story. It’s a better story to say ‘Remember that time Roy nailed Fletch in the dressing room for looking at his phone?’.

“That did happen, yeah. But it was rare and that was just about standards. It was his way of getting a message to everybody. That is what it was like at United.

“I just watched Roy and learned, but above all of that I just liked him. I still like him. He was an unbelievable leader and a fantastic player, the best first touch I ever saw.

“I walked on the pitch next to him and knew we would be fine. That is leadership. It’s what I want to do for people at this club.”

Read more here:

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport