Gary Neville warns Manchester United their unbeaten away record won’t last long when fans return, because opponents won’t be as ‘insipid’ as Spurs with supporters’ backing
Gary Neville believes Manchester United can’t keep starting games slowly when fans return to stadiums but was full of praise for their second-half performance on Sunday against Tottenham.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fought back to beat Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday afternoon, and in doing so extended their Premier League unbeaten away record to 23 games.
However, United were a goal down at the break and United legend Neville believes this current team always need ‘something that spikes them’ into life, insisting those slow starts would be punished if supporters were allowed inside grounds.
Gary Neville (R) says Manchester United must stop starting games slowly despite their record
United made it 23 Premier League away games unbeaten with victory at Tottenham on Sunday
‘We [Man Utd] didn’t play well first half’, Neville told Sky Sports. ‘They came out second half and were a completely different team – the urgency.
‘Sometimes you watch them, against Granada – who were poor – and you say, “the (United) passing is slow. The movement’s not there, they’re waiting for something to spike them in the game”.
‘And whether that’s going behind, or a bad decision, whatever it is – something spikes them and something comes alive.
‘They can’t keep doing that because when fans are in the stadium, if teams like Tottenham get in front of them with the fans behind them – they won’t be allowed to be as insipid as they were in the second half against Spurs.
Neville believes home teams won’t get away with being as insipid as Spurs were with fans back
‘They’ve got to sort it out, Manchester United, because it’s a big positive. I’ll repeat those three things, if you’re looking for character in a football side – winning away from home, coming from behind, winning when not playing well, being good on set pieces. Those are the things that define resilience and good character.
‘This Manchester United team have it in abundance at the moment. In the second half they were breathtaking at times. Some of the football was brilliant.’
United look to have consolidated second spot in the Premier League and are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, but seven ahead of Leicester in third.
Goals from Fred, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood swung the game on its head and focus now turns towards progressing through to the Europa League semi-finals this Thursday.