sport

Fletcher: United will be back

Darren Fletcher insists that Manchester United will bounce back and says that they cannot be ruled out of winning the UEFA Champions League this season.

David Moyes' side have endured a testing campaign so far, currently occupying seventh in the Premier League table, and their hopes of securing European football is in serious jeopardy.

However, their form in Europe this season has provided somewhat of a positive for the United faithful and having overturned a 2-0 first-leg defeat to beat Olympiakos 3-2 on aggregate, a quarter-final tie against the holders Bayern Munich now awaits.

Fletcher, who progressed through the youth system at Old Trafford, is convinced that his side can return to greatness and is optimistic of their chances in Europe.

"There's always been difficult times and it's a test of character I think. You've got to look around the dressing room and I see good characters," he told Sky Sports.

"We've all got to dig together, the staff, the players, everyone. It's a time for big characters, and big characters come through it. That remains to be seen whether we can, but I believe we can. I know we can.

"We're still in the Champions League and people write us off - we're playing Bayern Munich - but what a challenge that is. You're playing Bayern Munich in a Champions League quarter-final.

"You don't expect any easy games in the Champions League quarter-finals. We're still in it, we've played some good stuff in the Champions League this season.

"Our form's been good in that, barring the away to Olympiakos game, so I'm excited for it. With that packed house at Old Trafford on a Champions League night - don't write us off."

Response

Fletcher also admits that United owe a response to their fans who have remained supportive of the team despite a frustrating season which has seen recent home defeats to bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

"We know we're hurting but we know the fans are hurting and they've been here week in, week out. They've sang our names," he said.

"We've lost matches and the Stretford End have still been singing 'United' as we've walked off the pitch and that's a humbling experience.

"That gives you the determination to go out there and win for the fans. That's my mind-set anyway and that's all the players' mind-sets.

"It is spoke about in the dressing room that the fans are suffering and we need to do better for the fans."