FOOTBALL NEWS

29/08/2008 10:14, Report by Steve Bartram in Monte Carlo

Neville backs Euro repeat

Backed by a squad bursting with youthful vibrancy, Gary Neville is confident United can reprise last season's Champions League glory.

No side has successfully defended the European Cup since AC Milan almost 20 years ago, but the Reds' club captain sees no reason why his side can't buck the trend.

"It’s a big challenge to win the Champions League in any season," he said. "The way the team’s set up, with the players that we have now, the way we attack is unpredictable.

"From an onlooker's position for me last season, that was the biggest change. We’ve got some players upfront who can change games and you don’t know where on the pitch they will pop up.

"We’ve got a young squad, generally, and there’s reason why we can’t go and do it again. We have to reach our standards and levels of consistency that we reached last season, and if we do that then we’ll have a great chance."

Last season's success in Moscow has brought extra games in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, but Neville is excited, rather than wary, about the challenges that this season brings.

"This is the biggest challenge for any player at the club, and it’s one I’m looking forward to," he said. "Winning the Champions League last season means we enter competitions like this.

"It’s an exciting season for us all to look forward to. Obviously it means plenty of games, but we’ve got a big squad and we’re going to need that throughout the season with the amount of games that we’ve got."

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