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Aug 3, 2014

Fletcher: Man Utd set out to win Prem

Louis Van Gaal has announced Robin Van Persie will miss Manchester United's opening game of the Premier League season as the Dutchman has yet to return to training.

Darren Fletcher has said Manchester United will set out to win the Premier League next season, and won't settle for just qualifying for the Champions League.

Fletcher told reporters on Sunday that jumping from seventh place to topping the table was not impossible.

- Mitten: Fletcher deserves a change in fortune

"I don't think so, no. We go out to win the league," Fletcher said, quoted by the Guardian. "It is a dangerous mindset to have, to target fourth place. We are not players or a club that thinks like that, and we will be going out to win the league."

The midfielder cited Liverpool -- who United face in the final of the International Champions Cup on Monday -- as inspiration for what can be achieved in a season.

After finishing seventh in 2013, Liverpool chased the title into the final weeks of last season before eventually finishing second.

The Merseysiders had the advantage of concentrating on the domestic competition after missing out on Europe -- with United without European football in the new season.

"I think Liverpool showed that last year and we believe we can win the league again," Fletcher said. "Liverpool didn't have European football last year and they went close to winning the league, so hopefully we can go one better next year."

For now, United must concentrate on beating their long-time rivals in Miami, the culmination of the Red Devils' two-week tour of the U.S. during which they have beaten the LA Galaxy, Roma, Inter (on penalties) and Real Madrid.

Darren Fletcher says Manchester United have every expectation to win the Premier League this season.

Fletcher said the successful preseason would only help the team's confidence levels as they head into their first season under Louis van Gaal.

"The results are important, but so are the performances and they have got better with every game," said the Scot. "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, we spoke about doing that -- winning and getting the feel-good factor of winning because it breeds confidence."

Fletcher added: "We have just beaten Real Madrid, the European champions, and we now want to go on and beat Liverpool," he said. "That is the sort of thing that gives the squad confidence. We have a lot of young players out here, and you have to remember that. But all of us have to do it as a team, collectively, and we are doing that."

Fletcher is working his way back from an illness that has plagued him for three years, and said he felt he was finally returning to top form this summer.

"I think it's just because I have played the 90 minutes in those games. I've had three 90 minutes and been captain three times," the 30-year-old explained.

"I have worked hard in the offseason. I haven't had a preseason for about three years now, but it is very important for any player and it has been great for me to be so involved.

"I am not playing catch-up now or behind anybody in terms of fitness, and that gives you a big advantage."

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