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Strachan praises Fletcher

Scotland national team manager Gordon Strachan is lauding captain Darren Fletcher for his professionalism, saying he’s an inspiration for young kids.

Fletcher, 32, is set to get his 75th cap for Scotland as they take on Lithuania on Saturday at Hampden Park. Strachan is praising Fletcher for his commitment, overcoming a serious medical condition, and still having the drive to play for his country after 13 years.

“He is wonderful,” Strachan said. “There are great examples for kids now if they want to see them, if they can see them through the nonsense that is thrown in front of kids’ faces.

“Darren Fletcher? There is not a tattoo on his body, he doesn’t walk about with big headphones on, he hasn’t got a cockatoo hairstyle and he doesn’t wear outrageous shoes. He just wants to play football. He is a smashing advert for any kid. He is great for us because you just need to see him walking about. Shaun Maloney is the same, James McArthur is the same. Young players can look at these guys – fantastic role models. I don’t think there has ever been a negative headline about Darren. He never causes any problems.”

Fletcher suffered from ulcerative colitis, which limited his playing time for Manchester United for several seasons. The midfielder underwent surgery in early 2013, after missing out on the entire 2011/2012 season.

Asked whether he thought Fletcher’s Scotland days were over, Strachan said: “You can never write players off but I did know that there was going to be good challenge for him. He has accepted those challenges. These are the challenges that you get in life which make you stronger and then when you go into management you have been to these places and you can tell people what it is all about.

“What you see now is a guy getting his 75th cap, looking as healthy as anyone and I don’t think he has missed a game for West Brom since he signed.”

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