The former Manchester United and Everton star is finding the going tough in MLS, but he has vowed not to walk away from the challenge
Phil Neville claims to have the “full support” of David Beckham and the Inter Miami board despite seeing a tough start to life as MLS boss continue with a 5-0 defeat to New England.
The former Manchester United and Everton star was handed his first role in club management on the back of a spell in charge of the England’s women’s team.
He denied when heading to America that close personal ties to Old Trafford team-mate Beckham had seen him handed a “gift”, but that relationship is being tested by a sorry start to the 2021 campaign that has Inter Miami rock-bottom of the Eastern Conference with only two wins in 12 games.
What has been said?
The humbling reversal against New England has piled pressure onto Neville’s shoulders, but he told reporters: “I feel their full support – I always have done. They don’t need to tell me about their concerns because I have the same concerns.
“I’ve been in football long enough and I know the consequences – that’s no problem to me. We’re doing everything in our power, we just need better performances on the field.
“I’ve got great responsibility and I’m accountable for everything that I do. We’re on a run at the moment that puts me under pressure.”
He added on a 5-0 defeat that was suffered despite having Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi available: “I wasn’t expecting it. The players need to take a long, hard look at themselves, and so do I. We win and we lose together.
“Ultimately it’s my job to make this team better, and in this moment in time they are not. That’s on my shoulders.
“When we suffer a disappointment, we need to make sure that we can recover. That’s what football’s all about – having courage, bravery, not letting your team-mates down on the field. We’re not doing that and it’s something we’ve not done for the last six games. It’s something we have to rectify ASAP.
“Did they have better players than us? On paper, no, but they’re a team and that’s what we must become. That’s all I’m asking for – a team that will fight for each other and look round the dressing room and trust each other.
“That’s what I’ve asked them to do – look in the mirror and ask, ‘what are you doing for the team?’ Nothing will deter me from trying to be a success at this football club.”
The bigger picture
Inter Miami were 4-0 down by half-time against New England, and Neville admits performances are dipping even lower than “unacceptable” but he remains committed to turning fortunes around.
The 44-year-old added: “It’s the lowest in terms of my feelings after a defeat that I’ve had since I came to this football club – and we’ve had some disappointments. You can lose games in football, but the manner in which we lost tonight was… we’ve said the word unacceptable in the past – it feels worse than that.
“It’s a case of playing for your pride, for the badge, for your supporters – I can only apologise to them for what they saw tonight. It’s them that I feel for, more than myself or the players, because they deserve better.”