Keane sees Fletcher in central role for United

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Darren Fletcher has received a glowing compliment from the Manchester United captain, Roy Keane, in the form of an invitation to play alongside him in midfield.

The Scotland international announced his presence on the scene by scoring the only goal in the recent Euro 2004 qualifier against Lithuania to secure a play-off against the Netherlands next month.

But the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has revealed that the former Republic of Ireland captain believes Fletcher can occupy a central midfield berth. Ferguson said: "On the pre-season tour, I told Roy Keane I was thinking of playing Darren wide right and see how he copes, but he said to play [him] in centre midfield.

"Roy said he had been sensational in training and all the players regard him highly. But wide right is the position for him at the moment.

"Darren has problems with injury in last two years and is still developing and gaining strength," Ferguson added. "Once he has regained his strength, then we can consider his proper position."

But Ferguson admitted he had shocked his wife as he savoured the moment when the 19-year-old clinched Scotland's play-off berth at Hampden Park. "I was so delighted, I jumped out of my seat," he revealed. "My wife, Cathy, was sleeping while we were back in Aberdeen for the weekend.

"I was screaming and she was asking 'Has something happened?' and I told her Darren Fletcher had scored. I was so excited for the boy."

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