Ahead of today’s game between United and Everton, Phil Neville has spoken about how tough he found it settling in to the Merseyside club, claiming that whenever he didn’t play well or Everton lost, he’d be referred to as ‘the Manc’.
“I look back now and the lads who were in the team that first year, Stubbsy and David Weir, they’re now first-team coaches at Everton and they’re great guys,” he said. “But at the time, it was like a baptism And coming from Manchester United was hard. Everyone knew how much I loved United and I had to convince the fans that my heart was in Everton and not in United.”
Neville doesn’t enjoy coming back to Old Trafford and playing against the team he supports but says it’s easier now that he doesn’t have to play against his brother.
“It’s a little bit easier now that Gary’s retired but there are too many complications,” he said. “For me it’s a case of, ‘get it out of the way and let’s get on with the rest of the season’. I think I need to play another 20 League games and I’ve played just as many games for Everton as I had for United. I left United with people thinking I was diehard Red. And I want to leave Everton with the Everton fans thinking ‘He gave his heart and soul to this club’.”
Made in Manchester is available for just £3. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.