Gary NevilleUnited fans would be forgiven for getting increasingly frustrated with the Neville injury business. He hasn’t played for our first team in over a year now, but this recent rehabilitation period has proven to be his most successful since the initial injury. He has featured for the Reserves several times in quick succession, managing 90 minutes without any ill effects.

With the International friendlies taking place this week and Danny Simpson on loan to Ipswich, Fergie has today confirmed that he had been considering starting Neville against Aston Villa today if Wes Brown returned from France feeling the strain.

“Gary’s done very well in training this week,” Sir Alex told his weekly press conference. “We thought we’d see how Wes was when he came back (from England duty). “If Gary had played last night, then Wes had come back tired, I may have wanted to play Gary tomorrow (against Villa).”

Instead, Neville will play for the Reserves on Monday night against Newcastle. The player had doubted whether he’d feature for the first team before the end of the season, but Fergie clearly has different ideas. “Gary’s improving really well,” he said. “He’s done a full week’s training with us at a really good level, a good standard, and I think he’s starting to get nearer.”