Fletcher reveals Ferguson talk that ended thoughts of quitting

Darren Fletcher has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson sought him out for a chat in 2008 that ended any thoughts of the Scotland skipper quitting Manchester United.

Although Fletcher never got as far as demanding to leave Old Trafford, having been left out of the starting line-up for the Champions League final triumph over Chelsea and been only a peripheral figure in the last few weeks of another title-winning season, the 26-year-old was harbouring some doubts.

With just a year remaining on his contract and plenty of clubs, including Birmingham, who manager Alex McLeish knew Fletcher well from their international days, expressing an interest, the midfielder knew he would not be short of offers if he decided to head through the United exit door.

But Ferguson was determined to ensure that did not happen.

And how right that observation proved to be given Fletcher is now firmly established as one of the most effective midfielders in the Premier League.

"I was still having doubts because I was in a fairly strong position with only a year left to run on my contract," Fletcher recalled in an interview for the official Carling Cup final programme.

"If there was a time to leave it would have been a good opportunity.

"But the manager came to me. The contract talk was put to one side and our discussion was mainly about playing time.

"He said there had been offers but he didn't want me to go.

"I listened to what he had to say and just decided I did have a future at the club. Fortunately it turned out that way."

It was the fear of leaving a club he had been with since school without showing his true abilities that eventually proved decisive for the Dalkeith-born star.

"Deep down I just wanted to show what I was capable of," he said.

"It was never a case of going on to the pitch worried but maybe it wasn't coming across on the pitch.

"I would have hated to leave having not shown people what I could do.

"That would have been a genuine disappointment, something I would have looked back on and regretted.

"That is what drove me on and what I want to keep maintaining now because I want to be here for the rest of my career and leave some sort of mark on the club."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat