As shown by his celebrations against Manchester City, Gary Neville’s love for United burns as brightly as ever, so does his ambition to keep striving for success at OT...
What have you made of United’s start to the season?
It is the best start we’ve made in a long time, but you’d think from listening to people that we’re almost struggling. Some people have the perception that, as a couple of players have left, United have fallen to pieces. We can’t do a lot about people’s perceptions other than to win football matches and shut them up by doing things we’ve done for a long time.
How do you assess the mood in the current squad?
We’ve got a good level of belief and strength, and the main thing is that we all stay fit and keep the squad together. Generally the mood’s good. We weren’t probably in the right place fitness-wise against Burnley. That game perhaps came a bit too quick for us, and for me that was the reason we lost. Since the September international break, we’re looking healthier in terms of players having more training and games. You could see our attacking flair against City and Tottenham, our resilience against Arsenal and Besiktas… there have been much better performances since we came back from the break.
Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes continue to perform at the highest level. What do you make of their form?
Giggsy’s performances have been absolutely outstanding. He’s been probably our most creative player in key moments – setting up three goals against City, two against Arsenal, and scoring against Tottenham. He’s winning us matches and his performance levels are fantastic. Scholesy is still a brilliant player for us, too. He can still control the pace of matches for us, everything sticks with him and he never wastes a pass. They’re still both fantastic, world-class players and they’re crucially important to the squad.
The three of you are all in your midthirties, yet can comfortably still cut it at the top; how do you keep going?
We keep playing because United keep asking us to! There’s still an opportunity for us here and we want to keep winning season upon season. If the club told us to leave, we’d leave. Playing for this club is the best thing in the world and we’ve been doing it for a long time now. Why would we want it to stop? We still feel as though there are contributions to be made on and off the pitch – and so does the manager, which is