Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville believes his former Manchester United side can still salvage a successful season after he was impressed by the unity the team has shown in recent weeks.
The Red Devils have gained momentum with recent wins over Leeds and Brighton in the Premier League, but will have to maneuver through a tough list of fixtures against Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool in March.
Neville believes the criticism the team has faced in recent months has held the team together.
“I read the other day how many points United have scored since [Ralf Rangnick] happened…when you think about the attention that United is getting, I think the results have probably gone unnoticed,” Neville said. Sky Sports news.
“They are gaining trust and getting good results. I watched the game against Leeds and I think they played fantastic.
“They received a lot of criticism, both individually and collectively, but it seemed like it brought them closer together and it will always be a test.
“There was a lot of noise from Old Trafford, but it seemed to bring them closer. No matter what country you are in, the most cohesive team is the most successful.
“It seems to me that they are gaining more confidence and they still have a chance to win the Champions League and succeed in the Premier League. »
“Beckham wants success and I have to provide it”
In Miami, Neville works closely with his good friend and co-owner of the club, David Beckham.
The two share a special bond at Manchester United, but despite their closeness, Neville knows that friendship is no substitute for results.
When asked how he manages his relationship with Beckham on and off the field, Neville explained: “It’s professional, it has to be professional. Our relationship will not change because of a bad outcome, success or failure.
“We are close friends, we have always been and always will be, but I have known David for a very, very long time and the management team has helped me succeed at this club.
“If that success happens, which I really believe it will be good, but if it doesn’t, he will want to succeed whether I am a manager or not.
“There is professional respect for each other and sometimes last year we didn’t play very well… he gave me a huge amount of support and that’s all you can ask for as a manager.
“People kept telling me about the disadvantages of having a friend as the owner, but for me it was a big plus and I’m sure it will continue to be that way. »
“MLS is one of the hardest leagues in the world to play”
Miami finished out of the playoffs last season, finishing 11th in the MLS Eastern Conference, but ahead of this campaign, Neville has a brand new team to build on his own.
With 19 players leaving this summer and 13 newcomers joining this summer, including former Premier League full-backs Kieran Gibbs and DeAndre Yedlin, Neville has focused on improving last season’s results.
“Last season’s results were nowhere near as good as I wanted them to be. The challenge to succeed in this league is as good as any other challenge in my coaching career,” explained Neville.
“This is one of the most difficult leagues in the world to play, coach and succeed in and that is the beauty of this league.
“The challenge this year is to have a better second season and with the property we have we want to succeed and I want to be the coach that makes this franchise a success. »
Neville took over the MLS team in January 2021, which proved difficult as it meant he was unable to travel to England to see his family due to the pandemic. However, this gave him the opportunity to fully immerse himself in life in America.
“Me and my family are very well settled. My daughter is at school, my son is at the football club, and my wife is happy here, which makes a huge difference,” Neville said.
“The original plan was for me to come alone and it scared me in broad daylight.
“I miss my mom and sister too, I saw my mom five days in the last year and a half, but we hope that now that we are out of the pandemic we can start sharing our life here with our family.
“I immersed myself in life here, one thing we said if we really want to be successful here was that we have to dedicate ourselves fully to it, and my family and I did the same.
“One day I will return to England, but hopefully not in the foreseeable future. MLS is one of the toughest and best leagues in the world and I want to stay here for the long haul. »