Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is confident midfielder Darren Fletcher can help clinch the title at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.The Scotland captain has been missing with a virus but made his comeback in the 4-1 Champions League semi-final second-leg win over Schalke and should play a part at Ewood Park.
Ferguson needs him fully fit for the Champions League final against Barcelona at the end of the month.
“We have to give Darren a chance and he is back training every day. It is just a matter of getting back that strength and speed into his game,” Ferguson said.
“As I said we have some games to do that. He will go very close and has the application and desire to do it. Hopefully we can get him there.”
Edwin van der Sar could be given a watching brief as Ferguson wants him rested for the Wembley showdown against arguably the best team in world football.
The 40-year-old has made some crucial saves to keep the club on course for a league and Champions League double but Ferguson does not want him to burn out.
“I may rest Edwin van der Sar on Saturday given the program he has been through in the last couple of weeks,” he said.
“We have an opportunity to give him a bit of a break. He has played every game and of course these are all very important ones.”
“What has helped us in the last few games has been the freshness of the players coming back.”
“We have needed that added impetus at such an important time.”
“Antonio Valencia’s form has been terrific and Ji-Sung Park has been doing a magnificent job.”
Ferguson knows Blackburn also have something to play for as the season draws to a close – they are just three points clear of the relegation zone and will be looking to make sure they are safe.
“The most important thing is to approach this game in the right way and we are going to play our strongest team,” he said.
“It is a big game and it is always difficult to play away at Blackburn.”
“They are fighting relegation and I think they probably need a point so it is going to be a difficult game.”
“They will try to do their best to get that point or even beat us and it is a hard game for both teams.”
“We are going there with the confidence from a great performance when we beat Chelsea 2-1 on Sunday. We need another one like that.”
Midfielder Owen Hargreaves misses out with a shoulder injury.