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Darren Fletcher hails Roy Keane as massive influence on his career

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has identified Roy Keane as one of the three biggest influences on his career.

Fletcher broke into the United first team in 2003, playing at Old Trafford for 12 seasons. He made 342 appearances for the Red Devils scoring 24 goals.

The Scottish midfielder featured alongside Keane before the latter left United and joined Celtic in 2005.

Fletcher appeared on the UTD podcast and was full of praise for Keane and the influence he had on his career.

The midfielder also identified the words of encouragement from Keane which would make him ‘feel like a million dollars.’

“My dad, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane are the three biggest influences on my career,” he told UTD Podcast.

“They are the people who helped me. The great thing about Roy Keane is that he says ten things to you.

“One of them is classic Roy Keane where he has a go at you, lets you know and is really harsh on you.

“The other nine times, he gives you a compliment, but nobody hears about that or wants to remember that because it is not a good story to tell. But that is the way I remember Roy Keane.

Fletcher Keane

“Roy Keane was fantastic with me. Walking off the pitch beside Roy Keane and him saying to you, ‘fantastic today son, I could play for another ten years with you beside me in midfield.’

“Nobody hears that and it made me feel like a million dollars.

“The confidence I got from those words from Roy Keane massively outweighed the handful of times when he had a go at me and rightly so, because the levels or my standards were not that of a Manchester United player coming through, which is completely normal.”

man united roy keane

‘He was completely right’

Keane’s legendary career at United came to an end in 2005. His falling out with Alex Ferguson was thanks in no small to the infamous interview he did with MUTV.

The Irish man slated a number of teammates, including Fletcher, in United’s 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough. Fletcher however has no hard feelings towards Keane despite the scathing assessment.

“For me, I saw it as him saying about instances in the game, in terms of it not being good enough for me, and he was completely right,” he explained.

Fletcher Keane

“It was Roy Keane challenging me as Manchester United captain and it was something I was used to in the dressing room.

“The long and short of it is that I knew Roy Keane liked me and that was his way of showing he liked me, because he knew I was capable of more and wanted to challenge me.

“He would say ‘yes, I was little bit harsh there on Fletch but it’s because I like him and want him to do well.’

“So, for me, it was no problem at all. But I can see why Sir Alex Ferguson had a problem with the interview.”

Fletcher last played for Stoke City two seasons ago. He won 80 caps for Scotland.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here [email protected]