SCOTLAND international midfielder Darren Fletcher is relishing his new challenge at West Bromwich Albion - admitting it was just what he needed.

Fletcher's career was in danger of grinding to a halt as he found himself marooned on the Manchester United bench but it has been given a fresh lease of life at The Hawthorns. Fletcher turned his back on a 20-year connection with United on transfer deadline day when he moved to Albion, but he insisted yesterday he has no regrets.

"It's a new challenge for me after being at Manchester United for so long in my career but it's something I'm really looking forward to," said Fletcher, a five-time Premier League winner at United. "It felt like the right place for me to come at this stage of my life and I have to thank everybody who was involved for making the move happen.

"Everyone at the club has been really welcoming, from the coaching staff to the players, the people who work at the club and to all the supporters.

"I already feel very settled at the Albion and I am looking forward to playing a lot of games here over the next few seasons and helping the team to improve.

"The immediate challenge though is to get ourselves away from the bottom end of the table and make sure that we are going to be in the Premier League next season. That's something we all have to be focussed on right across the club. If we are all united then we will gave ourselves every chance of success."

Meanwhile, Albion manager Tony Pulis had no hesitation in relieving Chris Brunt the captaincy and handing it to Fletcher who added: "The manager took me to one side before the game at Burnley and said that he had spoken to Brunty about making a change and that Brunty was fine with it.

"I've been captain of Scotland, I've captained Manchester United in the past, I'm used to doing the job, but it is a great honour to be asked to do the job here now and I hope I can do it well. The lads were all great with me once they had been told and we are looking to go from strength."

Fletcher's instant impact on and off the pitch was yesterday hailed by Welshman Pulis. The 31-year-old rarely featured under Louis Van Gaal at Old Trafford this term, despite returning to full health after a crippling bowel problem.

But he has quickly made his presence felt at The Hawthorns. Albion have drawn at Burnley and beaten Swansea City since Fletcher's arrival

from Manchester United. Pulis, who himself only took up his role with the Midlands club las month, said: "On and off the pitch he has been very good. Like I have said before, it wasn't just a signing for 90 minutes on the pitch.

"It was a signing to bring something to the football club. He has got good standards. He has been brought up the right way. He is a winner

and you need a few of them in your dressing room. You can ask any manager up and down the country and it is lovely to have people like

that around you," added Pulis, who will have to make do without Fletcher for today's FA Cup tie against West Ham United as he is cup-tied.