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Scotland's Strachan to remain patient on Man Utd's Fletcher

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan insists he will not rush Darren Fletcher back into his national team plans.

The 29-year old Manchester United midfielder returned with a 20-minute cameo against Aston Villa on the weekend - his first appearance since Boxing Day last year - but Strachan is well aware he needs more time before being called upon to represent his country again.

"We'll just see how it goes now for the next couple of months," Strachan said as Scotland prepare for Euro2016 qualification which kicks off in September next year.

"We'll let him enjoy this and get in touch with him to tell him how happy we are for him.

"I'm sure a lot of people will be phoning him because everyone is so pleased.

"I tried to speak to him over the weekend and we just kept missing each other. But I didn't know he was so close to coming back to be honest.

"When I got a text saying he was going on as a substitute on Sunday it was amazing.

"I was on my third train of a long journey at that point so it was welcome news, let me tell you.

"But in all seriousness, as a footballer myself, I understand how he must feel. I was once out with a long injury and there's no better feeling than returning to play and thinking, 'I'm back again'.

"For us he adds to what we have in the middle of the park which is absolutely fantastic.

"But we'll let him take his time. I think that's what he wants as well.

"He's a top player though. He moves people round about him. As he plays he organises and not every player can do that."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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