Man Utd news

Neville: No focus on power debate

April 14, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Gary Neville insists Manchester United's players will not be preoccupied with the wider context of their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Saturday.

Neville on derby clash

• Preview: Man City v Man United

The clash of the two Manchester sides at Wembley comes towards the conclusion of a season that some predicted would witness a turning point in the relationship between City and United, given the extreme amounts of money spent on new players at Eastlands.

But with City struggling to hold onto fourth place, a challenge to United's superiority in the league has not transpired, meaning the FA Cup semi-final is a rare chance for Roberto Mancini and his men to take bragging rights.

However, Neville, who retired from the playing staff at Old Trafford earlier this season, says the 22 players involved at Wembley will only be focused on emerging triumphant after 90 minutes, and not what the result could mean for the balance of power in the city.

"I can only speak from experience as being a United player, but you don't go into a game thinking 'we are trying to stop a dominant force'," Neville told ESPN. "You go into a game thinking 'I am playing against him, I have got to stop him, and I want to try and win the match'. It is as simple as that.

"You aren't thinking about things that are out of your control, about what the fans are going to think or whatever, you are just thinking about your opponent, how you can win that football match, how you can stop your opponents playing.

"Really simple things, because if you start clogging your mind up with some of the things that you are talking about, you will get yourself in a right mess."

Gary Neville took the decision to retire at the start of February due to persistent fitness problems. However, the former United captain, who made 602 appearances for the club, says he will not be a frustrated onlooker as United aim to win a second Treble.

"I have no regrets," Neville said. "My career has been what it has been and there will be probably ten or 15 big matches a season for the next 100 years that you wish you would want to play in, but the reality is you don't play in them.

"Your career is over and finished, leave it to the lads who are still playing - they are the most important ones, I have always said that.

"Players come and go all the time, there's better players than me who have played for this club who have left. The club goes on its conveyor belt of players going through a fantastic football club and we are all there to serve the club when we play for them."