Manchester United veteran Darren Fletcher has praised the role played by young defender Paddy McNair in his side’s 2-0 win against Yeovil Town in the FA Cup on Sunday, as reported by ManUtd.com.
Fletcher returned from a long lay off due to illness at the end of last season, and he has played infrequently this campaign under Louis van Gaal.
McNair was thrown in by the Dutch manager earlier this season after a series of injuries limited his options in defence, and has impressed at times.
He could have left the field of play during the game against the League One side, after clashing heads with Kieffer Moore.
The players were treated on the pitch, and McNair finished the game, despite having to be bandaged up.
When compared to Luke Shaw and Rafael, both of whom left the field after impact injuries, McNair showed a level of bravery that Fletcher found it necessary to praise.
“Credit to the players, but look at Paddy McNair,” he said.
“He had blood gushing out of his head, a Terry Butcher headband on, and he dug in deep right until the end and showed real character today. I’m very proud of him.
“There were a lot of players who had never played in the FA Cup before, but they really stood up strong today, were counted and helped get a great result.”
Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has admitted that his side missed Angel Di Maria during his absence due to injury, as reported by ManUtd.com.
Di Maria returned on Sunday against Yeovil Town, and capped an excellent display from the bench for the Red Devils with the second goal of the game after a good counter attacking move.
His arrival from the bench was the signal for Man Utd to turn the screw on the League One side, and shortly after his introduction in the 60th minute, the Old Trafford side managed to break the deadlock.
Only four minutes after Di Maria came onto the pitch, Ander Herrera turned and hit a sweet half volley into the Yeovil Town net, and from that point on, it never seemed likely that they would not progress to the fourth round.
Fletcher was happy to see Di Maria, who broke the British transfer record when Man Utd bought him for £59.7 million, return, and admitted that his side had missed his influence.
He said: “It was a touch of class to dink it over the goalkeeper, a fantastic goal, so credit to him.
“He showed exactly what he’s all about, he’s learning quickly and he makes great, intelligent runs as well. He always wants the ball, he gets kicked and he just keeps getting up – he’s that strong.
“We have missed him, but hopefully he’s back now and he can kick on for the second half of the season and be the really important player we know he’s going to be.”