Darren Fletcher expects Manchester United to be title contenders this season and has claimed the club have regained their winning mentality.
United beat Real Madrid in Detroit last night with a scintillating display of attacking football and victory against Liverpool in the final will see the team win the International Champions Cup which would provide a real boost heading into the new campaign.
Fletcher, 30, who has captained the side in three pre-season games so far has produced excellent performances on tour and paid tribute to the club’s displays so far.
“They have been fantastic. The results are important, but so are the performances and they have got better with every game,” he said.
“Hopefully that can continue, but the main thing is winning games and getting that mentality back. We can feel it coming back.
“Before the first game [against LA Galaxy] we spoke about doing that – winning and getting the feel-good factor of winning because it breeds confidence.”
Fletcher has been able to take part in a pre-season for the first time in three years and has so far looked in fantastic shape. Against Madrid, he marshalled the midfield effectively and has formed a unit with Juan Mata and Ander Herrera.
Speaking about Monday night’s game against Liverpool, he said: “I know it’s only pre-season and it’s just a summer competition, but when United play Liverpool, it’s always a big deal.
“We want to win every match and it’s not different when we play Liverpool.”
Asked if he thought United going from a seventh-place finish to winning regaining the Premier League was impossible, Fletcher displayed the kind of mentality United fans will recognise.
“I don’t think so, no,” he said. “It’s a dangerous mindset to have, to target fourth place. We are not players or a club who thinks like that and we will be going out to win the League.”
Fletcher also added that United’s absence from the Champions’ League could help them regain the title.
He added: “I think Liverpool showed that last year and we believe we can win the league again.
“Liverpool didn’t have European football and they went close to winning the league last year, so hopefully we can go one better.”
Everyone associated with Manchester United will wish Fletcher every success for the forthcoming season. He has shown exceptional character in the last few years and his performances have demonstrated he has plenty to contribute in a United shirt.