Darren Fletcher has offered resounding support for James McClean 5 years ago

Darren Fletcher has offered resounding support for James McClean

James McClean doesn't have to worry about his political beliefs potentially affecting his teammates.

That's the view of West Brom captain Darren Fletcher, who has offered some strong support, and praise, for the Derry winger.

McClean courted controversy recently after appearing to turn away from the English flag, and national anthem, during a pre-season friendly in the United States.

The Ireland international was back in the news a few days later when Kirk Broadfoot was given a record 10 game ban for directing sectarian abuse against McClean during a fixture last March.

While the 26 year old has been the subject of controversy in the past for his decision to not wear the Remembrance Day poppy.mccleanWith so much non-football baggage, McClean could potentially be accused of being a distraction for his team, but Fletcher says that's not the case at all.

"He doesn't want to cause upset, he has got his beliefs about a lot of things," said the former Manchester United midfielder, who's mother is from Achill Island.

"But he is not a troublemaker, he hasn't done anything to cause trouble, he has not done any harm to anyone.

"I have got a bit of an insight into it because my mum is Irish and I have got family in Derry. It's a real sensitive subject. He's got strong beliefs and it is great that he has those beliefs."

"James has been brilliant, he has settled into the squad fantastically, showed a great attitude. He is a really popular member of the dressing-room."

James McClean scores 18/11/2014Fletcher's support will no doubt be a boost to McClean, while the midfielder has also being impressed by McClean's playing contribution, saying the winger is "one of the best athletes I have seen in terms of stamina and running."

"He is an absolute machine."

"I think he is going to be a real good player and a great addition to the squad. For how much the club picked him up for (£1.5m), I think he will be a real bargain."

H/T Irish Independent.