Fletcher insists Sweden friendly is vital practice for Levein's Scots

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The Independent Online

Darren Fletcher insists Scotland's friendly in Sweden is a more than worthwhile exercise despite Craig Levein's side suffering a raft of withdrawals with the game taking place just days before the start of the new domestic season.

The Scots take on their hosts in Stockholm's Rasunda Stadion tonight in what will be only the second game in charge for new manager Levein, who began his tenure with a win against Czech Republic back in March.

The timing of this match may be far from ideal but, with a crucial Euro 2012 double-header against Lithuania and Liechtenstein looming next month, Fletcher believes the time the squad spends together will be invaluable. Asked whether the meeting with Sweden was worth taking on, the captain said: "Of course it is, especially for the new manager because he has only had one game to deal with the players and get across his ideas.

"Ahead of the double-header of qualifiers next month, it's important for him that he gets the players here and lets us know what he expects of us and tries to stamp his style of play on the team. The fact that we are under a new regime and a new era and the start of a fresh campaign, I think it was important to have this friendly match."

The Manchester United midfielder added: "Any time there is a new manager, it does feel like a new regime. It's different around the place, all managers are different and they have their own ways, training will be different.

"It's exciting and all the players are coming in with a fresh start. Anything that has happened in the past is gone now. All we can do is try to impress the new manager because it's a fresh start for everyone."

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