Fletcher focused for Riverside
Darren Fletcher wants revenge against Boro after he was in the Man Utd side that was thumped 4-1 in 2005.
By Hayley Paterson
Last Updated: 02/05/09 11:51am
Darren Fletcher wants revenge against Middlesbrough after he was in the Manchester United side that was thumped 4-1 in 2005.
The Scottish international believes he is hitting some of the best form of his career this season for the Red Devils, but admits the crushing defeat at the Riverside four years ago still hurts.
As Middlesbrough continue to fight for survival in the Premier League, United themselves are having to keep their title hopes on course as well as prepare for a possible European final.
"It is hard to top a Champions League semi-final, but you can't raise your game for such an occasion and forget about fixtures like Middlesbrough away," Fletcher told the Daily Express.
"If you do that, you'll get hurt. It is why we have to raise our game every time we play and meet the challenge at Boro.
"I was in the team that lost 4-1 up there and it was a very disappointing day for everyone.
"We have experience of difficult matches up there, so we know what it's going to be like.
"We're not going into the unknown and it's up to us to rise to the situation. We're fighting for the title."
The 25-year-old was hotly tipped to move away from Old Trafford after last season but the Scottish captain has no regrets after staying and fighting for a first-team spot.
"In terms of games played, consistency and level of performances, I'd say this has been my best season," he said.
Taking a 1-0 lead to Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side is the next obstacle standing in the way of United making it into the Champions League final for the second successive season.
With the chance of securing three Premier League titles, Fletcher is eager to remain focused on the task in hand.
"Nothing has been achieved yet and we have to fight to make that happen. We can talk about it when, and if, we do it. But there's still a long way to go," he added.
United have won only three of their last eight games on Teesside as Jonny Evans comes in at the back for the injured Rio Ferdinand.