While many Manchester United fans are waking up this morning with a sense of dread, vice-captain Darren Fletcher has a feel of 1995 all over again.
A youthful and inexperienced United lost their opening fixture of the 1995/96 season, pundit and ex-player Alan Hansen said ‘You can’t win anything with kids’, then 37 games later they were crowned champions.
Fletcher said he thought about those hallowed days at the club in the dressing room after the disappointment of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea City and is confident of an excellent season ahead.
“It did have a feel of that, in terms of people looking at the squad and maybe not seeing household names, but these players are good enough and the manager believes in them,” said the Scot.
“All you need is a platform to go and perform and I’m sure they’ll definitely go and prove people wrong.
“This whole club is about bouncing back from adversity.”
BT Sport’s Steve McManaman, ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City, was quick to criticise the performance by claiming it was United’s worst 11 he had seen in over two decades.
“People have been waiting for an opportunity to have a go at United for years and this is the perfect time,”said United midfielder Fletcher.
“It’s a long season and I don’t think they will be saying those things at the end of it.
“I believe we’re going to have a very good season, all the players believe that too. Comments like that give us a greater determination, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Fletcher played alongside debutants Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard on Saturday due to a spate of injuries that has hit the club.
Captain Wayne Rooney equalised for United with a close-range overhead kick, but the match ended as being one to forget for the striker.
“This is a really bad result for us, but we will learn, especially with the manager we have got,” Rooney said.
“He is strong and he wants 100 per cent every game.
“We know last season was a disaster. It wasn’t good enough and we were ready for the start of this season. Maybe after a good pre-season we were a bit over confident.
“But we just have to look at the bad points and cut them out. If we do that we will win games.”
United next play Sunderland away on Sunday.
Main image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.