Fletcher relishing Ibrox roar

BY foxsports • November 20, 2010

United head north to face Rangers knowing a single point will be enough to confirm their place in the Champions League knock-out phase with a match to spare. The Red Devils are expected to achieve their objective, even though Rangers secured a draw from their trip to Old Trafford in September. That was done with some blanket defence, which Walter Smith's men cannot afford to repeat if they are to stand any chance of reaching the last 16. But even beyond that, for Fletcher it promises to be a special night. As Scotland's captain and best player he will be afforded some respect from the home support. As a confirmed Celtic supporter, he will not. "I am sure I will get plenty of stick from the home support," he laughed. "But I am really looking forward to the game. Rangers are a massive club with a huge support. "It will be a special night that's for sure. I experienced it from the bench when we went there a few years ago and I know the atmosphere will be a fantastic. "But that is what playing in Europe is all about. "Part of the challenge is performing in intimidating atmospheres. It is something we all enjoy." In truth, the atmosphere should bring out the best in United's players, who have bounced back from that goalless stalemate against the Scottish champions to record three straight wins to put themselves in line to seal qualification with a match to spare. That is the major motivation for, with a Carling Cup quarter-final at West Ham next month as well, United are approaching one of the most congested phases of the season looking to gain rest whenever they can. The return of Wayne Rooney has already been guaranteed by Ferguson, the England striker ready to play again after his ankle injury, the furore over his contract virtually obliterating the much-publicised problems in his personal life that seemed to affect his early-season form. Rooney will be desperate to score his first goal in open play and there would be no better place than Ibrox, where Ryan Giggs is also hoping to be available after his recent hamstring problems. Javier Hernandez might also hope for some involvement after a series of excellent performances in European competition this season, while it should not be forgotten that both Gabriel Obertan and Bebe were on the scoresheet in Turkey last time out when United put three goals past a disappointing Bursaspor outfit. And Fletcher feels that result, and the possibilities it has opened up, must take precedence over any enjoyment about the experience United are about to go through. "We still have a job to do," he said. "We still need the point that is going to take us into the next round. "Although we will enjoy it on Wednesday, we are also intent on producing a professional performance to try and win the match and see us through."