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What They Said: Fletcher never lets us down - Fergie

ESPN staff
November 24, 2012 « Guardiola linked to vacant Brazil post | Chartbeat test »
Darren Fletcher scored Manchester United's second against QPR at Old Trafford © PA Photos
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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his own personal delight after Darren Fletcher played a match-winning role in Saturday's 3-1 victory over QPR.

There had been fears Fletcher would have to retire due his battle with colitis, but the Scotland international is increasing his playing activity and scored the game's vital third goal as United came from behind to win at Old Trafford.

"Everyone is delighted," Ferguson said. "It has been a long road back for him. It is the first time he has played twice in one week. He didn't let us down again. He never does. It is lovely to have him back like that. We will look at Wednesday but he has made a great contribution today. We played for 10 or 15 minutes. That was the sum total of our real performance."

Mark Bowen, who took caretaker charge of QPR at Manchester United, expressed his displeasure at the sacking of Mark Hughes, who has been replaced by Harry Redknapp:

"People ask me what went wrong but when this club stayed up on the last day of last season, clubs like Southampton and Reading had a better squad than us," Bowen said. They had players who had been together and had success together. At times we have been criticised for the number of players who have left. Not one player we have let go is anywhere near the Premier League now. Football is an emotive game and Friday was a desperate day."

Roberto Martinez slammed his own club's fans after Jordi Gomez responded to heckling by scoring a match-winning hat-trick in Wigan's 3-2 win against Reading:

"The role Jordi had to play today was as unfair as you're going to get," Martinez said. "Because he missed the first two or three passes, all of a sudden the crowd let him know. I've seen it so many times and it's very difficult to compose yourself, and it would have been all too easy for him to hide and look away from the challenge. But that's not Jordi at all. Nobody deserved a hat-trick more today than him. The crowd were too vocal against him and I hope that today they realise that the only thing Jordi does is give his life for Wigan Athletic and to win football games."

Defeated Reading boss Brian McDermott was unhappy with referee Howard Webb after he failed to award a penalty for a foul on Jay Tabb in their defeat to Wigan:

"I thought we deserved a point, and I thought it was the least we were going to get," McDermott said. "I think if the referee had given the penalty on Jay Tabb we would have gone on to win the game. Someone of Howard Webb's experience and quality, you would have expected him to get that one right. But when you're 2-2 in the 92nd minute and we've got the ball, you've got to make sure you see the game out. If you have to take a point in this league then take it and move on."

Everton manager David Moyes divided the blame for the Toffees' 1-1 draw against Norwich between John Heitinga and Tim Howard, who allowed Sebastien Bassong to cancel out Steven Naismith's opener:

Jordi Gomez scored a hat-trick for Wigan © PA Photos
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"A little bit of both," Moyes answered when asked who was at fault. "I think the ball was in the air long enough and also I don't think it was a free-kick. Today was always going to be a tough game. Norwich have played well and have had some good results. With what we had available to us it was always going to make it quite hard. It was going to be tight - I couldn't see us winning it that comfortably. We were chasing it and we didn't have an awful lot to chase it with. They are the facts."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton faces a nervy wait to see if John Ruddy will be fit for their next game with Southampton after the keeper came off with a thigh injury at Goodison Park:

"We won't know until Sunday," Hughton said. "Hopefully he came off at the right time. I certainly had to make sure I brought him off."

West Brom manager Steve Clarke would not talk potential Champions League qualification after Saturday's 4-2 win at Sunderland lifted them to third. The Bagges triumphed thanks to goals from Zoltan Gera, Shane Long, Romelu Lukaku and Marc-Antoine Fortune:

"All I know is up until now, we have done very well," Clarke said. "We have had a lot of plaudits and the players deserve it because so far, we have been a really good team. But you don't get carried away in the Premier League. We are still this side of Christmas, there are a lot of games to be played, a lot of points to be fought for."

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill refused to blame goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after his fumble led to West Brom's second goal in the Black Cats' 4-2 defeat:

"Simon has been fantastic for us, absolutely fantastic," O'Neill said. "He is entitled to something like that now and again. It's absolutely and utterly out of character. It just slipped out. He has been terrific for us. We have been beaten, but we look as if we can maybe get a goal again now, which is very encouraging. We have a big game on Tuesday night against QPR and we will try to get ourselves prepared for that."

Tony Pulis demanded more goals from his Stoke side after they scraped to a 1-0 win over Fulham courtesy of Charlie Adam. Pulis felt his team missed too many chances to kill the game off:

"I'm really disappointed we have not won the game by more goals," Pulis said. "Even just looking at the first half, if you look at the chances, Robert [Huth] has missed a point-blank header from a corner and Ryan [Shawcross] hits the bar when he is almost under the goal. There were some great opportunities and in the second half we had more. Then in the last few minutes, you are starting to scramble."

Martin Jol offered little excuse for Fulham's loss to Stoke, confessing the Potters were simply too much for his side:

"We couldn't get out of our half," Jol said. "We still wanted to play, but it was difficult and then you get the long balls and they close you down, pressurise you, play their style. It was not easy for us - we play a different style."

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