Fletcher eager to feature
Darren Fletcher is determined to be involved in Scotland's crunch qualifying double-header after overcoming a bout of tonsillitis.
Last Updated: 08/10/11 9:40am
Darren Fletcher is determined to be involved in Scotland's crunch Euro 2012 qualifying double-header after overcoming a bout of tonsillitis.
The Scots skipper had been ruled out of Saturday night's match against Liechtenstein in Vaduz, although it was hoped he might be ready for the match against Spain in Alicante on Tuesday night.
However, in a dramatic development on Friday, the Manchester United midfielder caught a flight from Manchester to Switzerland where he was picked up by Scottish Football Association officials and driven straight to the team hotel in St Gallen to link up with Craig Levein's squad.
At almost the same time the Scotland medical team were ruling out Kenny Miller, who will be replaced by Brighton striker Craig Mackail-Smith after failing to overcome his groin injury.
After settling in, Fletcher said: "These are two huge games and I was determined to be involved in both of them.
"I felt a lot better on Thursday and spoke to the manager about joining up.
"Obviously there is a lot at stake and everyone knows how passionate I am about playing for my country, so it wasn't a big decision to make once I started to feel better.
"I feel fine and will do a little light session with the physios then we will see what happens.
"The main thing is I'm here and part of the squad.
"This is a massive double-header. A win against Liechtenstein is a must and we will do all we can to keep our hopes alive for Tuesday's match against Spain."
Levein was handed a boost when the Czech Republic lost 2-0 to runaway group winners Spain in Prague on Friday night.
Scotland will move in to second place by a point with a win over Liechtenstein, albeit the Czechs have on paper the easier final fixture against Lithuania on Tuesday night.
With the race for the play-off spot reaching boiling point, the Scotland boss paid tribute to Fletcher's commitment to the cause.
"It's a great boost to have Darren here, especially after losing Kenny," he said. "He has a huge influence on the team and his presence alone will give the players a lift.
"We will assess him today but it is a testament to the player that he flew over as soon as he felt ready."