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· Berbatov>Tevez
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GARY NEVILLE believes that Manchester United are so good their Premier League rivals will be running scared this season.

The Old Trafford skipper made his first start in 17 months in Sunday's Community Shield after damaging his ankle ligaments against Bolton.

The champions beat Portsmouth on penalties and Neville immediately sent a defiant message to title rivals Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Right-back Neville said: “I think at times we can be intimidating.

“When you've got players who are able to beat opponents one-on-one like we have throughout our squad, that's the most intimidating thing.

“When you've got players who can run past you, with or without the ball, and they can beat you in the air as well at the same time. So, physically, our players are capable of being dealt the harshest of blows and come back.

“We can cope with the harshest treatment from European or English defenders. Our front players are intimidating to play against — I play against them in training.â€

Alex Ferguson's star-studded side boast a phenomenal wealth of attacking talent like Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nani and of course Cristiano Ronaldo.

United's captain believes the off-the-ball movement of Fergie's frontmen and their ability to waltz past defenders leaves their opponents mesmerised.

It is high praise as it is coming from a man who has been part of all the great United sides that Ferguson built — teams that have made the Scots manager a legend.

Neville added: “It's probably the most inventive side I've played in, in terms of its style.

“I think the interchanging and the way in which the players do it is different than United teams I've played for in the past.

“The front three or four are able to play in all positions and that's difficult for opponents.

“They don't know who they're going to be playing against from minute-to-minute let alone match- to-match. For us it's good. We still retain defensive discipline throughout the team and all muck in together. It's a good mix.â€

Neville was forced to sit out last season as his ankle problem turned into a nightmare. The England defender insisted he never thought about quitting but, at 33, he candidly accepted people were right to question if he would be able to continue.

He said: “Stories you might not get back are inevitable when you don't play for so long. At my age those stories I can understand.

“Personally within yourself you have moments when you wonder if these injuries are going to clear up? For the previous three or four months I've been OK.


“I just came back too late for last season. And, to be honest, the others were playing too well. But I never felt that I'm never going to play again.â€

Neville admits he needs time to get back to his best. But he added: “I'm not nervous about the new season. I'm excited.

“It's a fantastic challenge for me and I've always enjoyed a challenge. At this club it is a continuous challenge.

“I want to thrive on the fact that I've not got a great deal of time left in my career so I'm going to try and enjoy it as much as I can.â€

Last season Neville was a frustrated spectator as United won the League and European Cup double.

Now he is desperate to be part of a team that repeats those heroics.

He said: “We've never won the European Cup two years on the trot so it's important to step up to the plate again.

“We have never let complacency set in at this club. We've always had a good mentality going into every season and wipe the slate clean. That's been one of the great things the manager has passed down to us.â€

this guy knows what he's talking about...he's been here for a while an played for some great united teams...when the likes of fergie and neville say that this is probably the best squad the'd ever worked with then it has to mean something whether we like it our not, whether we agree or not...
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