Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Neville: United are on the up

Gary Neville believes Manchester United are in great shape going into the new season

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes Sir Alex Ferguson has left new manager David Moyes one of the four great teams of his 26-year tenure at Old Trafford.

Neville claims the current crop have not yet reached their potential but should be ranked alongside squads from 1994, 1999 - the treble-winners - and 2008.

"When you're at Manchester United and you've had a manager who has built four great teams - '94, '99, 2008 and you can now argue this one that has won the league - people are always going to compare teams," he told manutd.com.

"The most important thing to say about this team is it's on an upward curve.

"You've got players like (David) De Gea, Rafael, (Jonny) Evans, (Chris) Smalling, (Phil) Jones, (Tom) Cleverley, (Danny) Welbeck and (Javier) Hernandez, to name eight players, who are still young and haven't reached anywhere near their peak.

"You've also got a mix of players in the middle who are at their peak, then you've got the experienced lads at the other end.

"This team has still not reached its potential. I'm sure there will be additions to the squad this summer so you're talking about a team on the up."

Many have speculated Ferguson's retirement gives other clubs a chance to take advantage of the changes at Old Trafford and Neville admits it may be one of the most significant summers of recent years - and not just for United. But he still expects the defending champions to raise their game.

"They should see it as a new challenge and an important challenge," said the England coach.

"Since Sir Alex announced his retirement other clubs have already been lifted by the fact he is no longer around. The players should see that as a slight on them and say 'Hang on, do you think we can't go out on that pitch and perform without our manager?'"

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