Football

Neville: No excuses against Munich

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Gary Neville does not believe tiredness will be an excuse for failure against Bayern Munich on Wednesday as they trail 2-1 following the first leg.

Manchester United must bounce back from their shattering 2-1 loss to Chelsea at the weekend and beat the German giants at Old Trafford if they are to avoid a quarter-final elimination from the Champions League with even Sir Alex Ferguson admitting his troops were "leggy".

But United skipper Neville said: "We are more used to playing Wednesday-Saturday than having free weeks. I don't think it becomes a telling factor."

Having performed equally poorly in Germany last Tuesday, when United surrendered an early lead and Wayne Rooney succumbed to the ankle injury that Ferguson has said will keep him out of the decider, it could be argued United's arduous season, that included February's Carling Cup triumph over Aston Villa, is having a major effect.

But Neville added: "Sometimes when you get a free week you can find yourself wondering what to do with yourself because you are so used to playing.

"We are happy to be playing the big games and being in Europe. We have a big squad as well, so the manager may freshen things up. We are fine with where we are at."

Although Dimitar Berbatov has been harshly criticised for his failure to snaffle a difficult late chance on Saturday that would have given his side a draw and kept them in charge of the championship chase, unless Rooney makes an unexpected recovery, the Bulgarian will again carry United's attacking hopes.

Clearly, the loss of Rooney adversely affected the Red Devils at the weekend. But they performed badly with their 34-goal talisman in the team against Munich and the recent defeat at Everton proved even Rooney is not immune from disappointing performances.

Neville will certainly not be lamenting Rooney's absence, as he insists United have the strength in depth to cope.

"The successful teams are usually the ones that have the most money and the biggest squads, and we believe we have a big enough and talented enough squad to cope with the fixtures," Neville told the Sunday Times of Malta.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Gary Neville

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