FOOTBALL NEWS

"Playing in these matches in pre-season will help my fitness and sharpness and hopefully I can be a part of another successful season."

- Gary Neville
30/07/2008 08:50, Report by Gemma Thompson

Neville continues fitness bid

Gary Neville aims to continue his bid to be fully fit for the start of the season with some more minutes on the pitch over the coming week.

Old Trafford will play host to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's testimonial match on Saturday against Espanyol and a friendly with Juventus the following Wednesday.

After completing the full 90 minutes of United's 2-1 over Portsmouth in Nigeria on Sunday evening, the skipper is hoping to be involved in at least one of the Reds' upcoming games.

"It was important for me to play 90 minutes in Nigeria, but I did feel it in the last 15 minutes," he told MUTV.

"But then, when I was 23, I would have felt it in the last 15. I think everyone felt it. It was a tough game in humid conditions.

"Now I'm hoping to play in at least one of the games against Espanyol or Juventus."

Having been forced to watch from the sidelines as his team-mates sealed a glorious double last season, the 33-year-old is determined not to miss out this time round.

"Last season was very frustrating from a personal point of view. It was very disappointing not be involved in what was such a great season for the club," he admits.

"Playing in these matches in pre-season will help my fitness and sharpness and hopefully I can be a part of another successful season."

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