Manchester United's Darren Fletcher 'hurt' by derby defeat

Fletcher being tackled by Manchester City's Richards
Fletcher is sure Manchester United can "bounce back" from their derby loss

Darren Fletcher admits he is 'hurt' by Manchester United's derby defeat - but vowed the champions will bounce back.

United were hammered 6-1 by neighbours Manchester City on Sunday - the club's worst Old Trafford defeat since 1955, heaviest derby loss in 87 years and ending a 37-game unbeaten home run.

"We are disappointed, really disappointed, but we will have to bounce back," goalscorer Fletcher said.

"We know how much it is hurting, the players are hurting just as much."

City's rout saw them take a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table and be labelled favourites for the title by many bookmakers - but despite the emphatic margin of victory, Fletcher, 27, refused to throw in the towel.

"City are in a great position but Chelsea were in this position last year and were eight or nine clear." the Scotland captain told MUTV.

"They are the team at the top and everyone will be trying to knock them off. Maybe we were a bit naive playing to try to win the game when it was conceivably not possible.

"To lose the goals late on, especially the last two or three, was the disappointing thing.

"The players will learn from that because you do learn from things like this in football."

Next on United's agenda is the Carling Cup fourth-round tie at League Two side Aldershot Town on Tuesday.

While most of the players on the receiving end of City's thrashing should be held back for next Saturday's meeting with Everton, fringe men such as Michael Owen and Dimitar Berbatov are likely to be given a chance to claim a more regular first team berth.

Captain Nemanja Vidic could also continue his comeback from the calf injury that has blighted the opening weeks of his campaign.

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