Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Neville impressed with Manchester United's character

Captain Gary Neville felt Manchester United's hard work and quality paid off as they shrugged off the disappointment of going down to 10 men to beat Wolves 1-0 in the third round of the Carling Cup.

Fabio was dismissed on the half-hour mark for a clumsy challenge on Michael Kightly, but a 66th-minute effort from Danny Welbeck sealed United's progression.

Neville told Sky Sports: "We fought hard. The players did really well and we were always a threat going forward, particularly from wide positions with Danny and Nani, and then when Antonio Valencia came on.

"Old Trafford is a big pitch and, even if we are down to 10 men, it can be sapping on opponents."

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also pleased with his side's determination after the early blow of losing Fabio.

"They showed a good spirit," he said.

"It was difficult playing for a full hour [with 10 men] because Wolves before that were good on the counter-attack and caused us problems.

"After that we were disciplined."

He added: "(Fabio) was unlucky, He slipped and tried to recover and as he tried to recover he brought him down.

"The referee showed a red card immediately and you can't argue."

Ferguson was impressed by Welbeck's strike.

"The goal was fantastic," he said.

"It was difficulty in terms of the way we had to play when we went down to 10 men.

"The goal tells you about the player. He's earned the plaudits today."

Welbeck added: "I don't think it was the best performance I gave but I worked hard and to get a goal was fantastic."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy accused his side of showing a lack of belief when they were facing 10 men.

"I preferred it when they had 11," said McCarthy.

"Manchester United have done it many times before, against clubs who have been in the Premier League far longer than us.

"They pick teams off and get to the other end of the pitch by playing through you.

"We were in the game more before they had a man sent off.

"But the result was more about us, our confidence and our belief in beating a team with 10 men."

Yet McCarthy refused to castigate a team for whom Kightly and former United striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake were returning after extended periods on the sidelines.

"We have been in the Premier League for three months," he said.

"That doesn't make us a Premier League team. We are a football club that has got itself into the Premier League and for most of the time we have competed.

"Manchester United are arguably the best team in Europe. Liverpool have a similar set-up, and Arsenal.

"We are snotty-nosed kids coming up from the Championship.

"Is it a case of us coming up here and having our bellies tickled and for them to say, 'thanks for coming'?

"I don't like that. But it is part of the learning process."

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