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United have nothing to prove - Neville
Published : 19 Jan 2010 10:06:41
GARY Neville insists Manchester United have nothing to prove at Eastlands tonight. United make the short journey across town for the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg knowing neighbours City are intent on knocking them off their perch, just as Sir Alex Ferguson did to Liverpool when he came south from Scotland in 1986. Victory alone would not achieve that. But it would be a significant statement of intent at a time when United's £500mn bond issue has laid bare all kinds of doomsday scenarios and brought the more militant members of their support back to the fore once more. Neville does not view all this as a reason for the Reds to flex their muscle. He is content with United's achievements and their present status. The veteran defender does want to beat City. But only because it is a semi-final, nothing else. "I don't see the game as an opportunity to reassert our dominance over City," he said. "We are quite comfortable with where we are. "We are second in the league, we're in the Carling Cup semi-final and we're in the second phase of the Champions League, so we have nothing to prove. "People might perceive that something is going on in Manchester between the two clubs, but we cannot afford to get involved in that. "We just need to concentrate on our jobs like we've always done. "We have had battles for the top honours with our rivals like Leeds and Liverpool over the years. We just concentrate on our own performance. "There is no way we can start to concern ourselves with other teams too much." What United will have to concern themselves with is Carlos Tevez. Although Neville was injured for most of the two years he spent alongside Tevez at Old Trafford, he is acutely aware of the South American's popularity. But he has known Sir Alex Ferguson for far longer, which is why he has no qualms backing the manager over one of his more controversial transfers in recent times. "Over the years the manager has made many decisions with regard to players coming and going, and he has almost always been proved correct," said Neville. "He may have got one or two wrong over a period of 20 years, he has admitted that himself, but he knows exactly what he's doing and he understands when a player's time is up. "I can't disagree with his decision on Tevez. "He was a good player for us, but if the financial demands are too big that's just the way it goes. "Other good players have left this club in the past; it's not the first time it's happened." The prospect of Tevez scoring the winner to sink his old club does not bare thinking about at Old Trafford, although Neville accepts it is just another intriguing factor to pin on one of the most eagerly-anticipated derby clashes since Denis Law sent United down in 1974. "These are massive games for us," said Neville. "The Carling Cup is a competition we have done well in over the past couple of years, and no doubt they will want to do well too. "It is one of the biggest games we have played against City for a long time."