Gary Neville fires clear message to Manchester United players after Coventry City scare

Gary Neville.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was more than relieved at the final whistle of Man United's FA Cup clash with Coventry City -Credit:Sky Sports

Gary Neville was as relieved as anyone to see Manchester United scrape across the line against Coventry City and book their return ticket to Wembley for an FA Cup final showdown with Manchester City next month. United were coasting against Championship opponents Coventry - before drama ensued beneath the famous arch.

Coventry replied to goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes to send the game to extra-time and then penalties. United prevailed from 12 yards, but it might not have even got to that stage had VAR not intervened to rule out a would-be winner from Victor Torp after Haji Wright strayed narrowly offside.

While covering the Premier League action for Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon, Neville and his TV colleagues had one eye on those jaw-dropping yet nervy events elsewhere in the capital. When asked a question about that VAR decision, a relieved Neville stooped down, smiled his way through and signalled a clear warning to United's players.

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He said: "There was only Peter Drury watching Liverpool in the last five minutes. I was just like this [slumps on the desk] in the commentary box. We haven't seen the game, but know it's really bad.

"It must be really, really bad for United to be 3-0 up and in a position where they could go out of the competition and get through on penalties. All I feel now, my gut feeling and instinct now, is to say those players and managers have saved themselves one of the most horrific four weeks to the end of the season by getting through.

"I know there will be a lot of fallout tomorrow and the day after, but the Merseyside derby kicks off on Wednesday night and it will be forgotten about. You will then get the FA Cup final in a few weeks and United do have a chance to win trophy."

Neville continued: "Tonight it will feel horrific, but if they'd have gone out today it would have been a shocking last three or four weeks to the end of the season. Whether that changes the outcome of what happens to Erik ten Hag and the players is one thing, but what they have saved themselves is an absolute battering. They may get it for two or three days, but not four weeks."