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Fletcher desperate for Scottish success

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: October 08, 2012

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SCOTLAND striker Steven Fletcher says he will give everything to mark his return from a self-imposed international exile with a win against Wales.

The Sunderland man is back in the Scots' squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Belgium after ending a 20-month impasse between himself and manager Craig Levein.

Fletcher, 25, had been frozen out since sending a text message to a Scottish Football Association official in February 2011 informing him he did not wish to be selected for the Carling Nations Cup game against Northern Ireland.

However, after Sunderland and Scotland defender Phil Bardsley acted as intermediary, a recent reconciliation took place with Fletcher echoing Levein's sentiments that the whole episode had been regrettable.

Wales and Scotland are both winless from their two qualifiers to date, but Fletcher is desperate to help his country get off the mark at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday.

"We will be going to Wales looking to win," he said.

"Everyone knows it has been too long since we last qualified for a major finals and I want to do my bit to help us reach Brazil," he said.

"We are in a tough group but we have a squad of players who are playing in the Premier League every week and guys who are gaining valuable Champions League experience with Celtic.

"Our supporters will be there in their thousands and we need their support to put ourselves in contention in the group.

"I can promise them I will give everything I can along with the rest of the squad to qualify for Brazil.

"I am desperate to play for Scotland again and, like Craig, I regret that it has taken this long to come about," Fletcher added.

"I'm sure we have both done a lot of thinking during the last two years, but the country comes first."

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