gary neville

Neville demands more consistency from Manchester United forwards

Gary Neville has said that Manchester United’s attacking players must be more consistent in front of goal after they put in an improved performance against Chelsea on Saturday.

Having turned on the style in the last 20 minutes of their sensational comeback against Newcastle two weeks ago, Manchester United started slowly against Chelsea but came out a vastly improved side in the second-half, with Anthony Martial scoring his first brace in two years to put the Red Devils ahead.

It is this inconsistency that Neville says Manchester United‘s attackers need to eradicate if they are to return to the top of the Premier League table in the future.

“They need more from the front three, there’s so much talent there,” Neville said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

“If you think of Lukaku, [Alexis] Sanchez, Martial and Rashford, they need more from them. I want to see more runs past Lukaku. I want the two wide players, whoever they are – you see what Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah do for Liverpool, how they make those narrow runs inside.

“I’m not saying they have to play narrow but wherever you start, you’ve got to end up in goalscoring positions more often and you’ve got to show that little bit of quality and composure in the final third.

“I thought in the first half, there was an absolute gulf in the quality of the wide players – between Eden Hazard and Willian and Rashford and Martial – they’re understanding of the position and their adapting of their position on the pitch when the team were in possession, there were no runs in behind with intent, there was a lack of quality on the ball.

“But in the second half, Martial gives you a glimpse. He shows you what he can do and Rashford does that as well but they’ve got to perform consistently.

“I know they’re still young, but they’ve had two or three seasons in the first team and yes, it took Cristiano Ronaldo three or four seasons so there is still that growth to come, but they are getting lots of chances.

“You may argue that Marcus isn’t a right-sided player, Martial wants to play as a centre-forward, so does Marcus but they have to make the best with what they’ve got and I think they can do so much more and that’s a compliment – it’s not a criticism – because they can give so much to the team.

“They could score 20 goals a season from those positions and Lukaku could score 25 – that’s a target of 65 goals. Is 65 goals between those players, including Sanchez, too much to ask? I don’t think it is. There are 65 goals there, go and score them and make sure you do it every single season of your career because that’s the quality you have to get to. Maybe that will give them the confidence today.”

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