Fergie right to let overpriced Tevez leave Old Trafford -- Neville
Published 19/01/2010 | 05:00
GARY NEVILLE has intensified Mancunian rivalry prior to tonight's Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Eastlands by claiming Alex Ferguson was right to allow former Old Trafford striker Carlos Tevez to leave United for City.
Tevez, who has scored 11 goals in his past 10 appearances for City, is expected to overcome a hamstring strain in order to face his former club.
The Argentinian forward left Old Trafford in acrimonious circumstances last summer, with Ferguson claiming he was not worth the £25.5m fee being demanded by his economic rights holders to turn his two-year loan into a permanent deal.
Having subsequently agreed to move to City, Tevez hit back at Ferguson and United chief executive David Gill by accusing the pair of failing to make an effort to keep him at the club.
But despite Tevez's impressive form at Eastlands, United captain Neville has backed Ferguson's call not to fight to keep the forward.
"I can't disagree with his (Ferguson's) decision on Tevez," Neville said. "He was a good player for us, but if the financial demands are too big, then that's just the way it goes. Other good players have left this club in the past, it's not the first time it's happened, but the manager has made many decisions with regard to players coming and going and he has almost always been proved correct.
"Over a period of 20 years he may have got one or two wrong, and I think he has admitted that himself, but he knows exactly what he's doing and he understands when a player's time is up."
City are aiming to reach their first major final since 1981 by defeating United but, despite the home side's determination to end their 34-year trophy drought, Neville insisted that United are equally motivated to win.
"Our two games against City are massive, but I don't see them as an opportunity to reassert our dominance over them. We're quite comfortable with where we are. We are second in the league, we're in the Carling Cup semi-final and we're in the second phase of the Champions League, so we have nothing to prove."
United will be without Rio Ferdinand at Eastlands, but the England defender could return to face Hull on Saturday. Dimitar Berbatov is a doubt with a dead leg.
City manager Roberto Mancini also has injury problems, with Patrick Vieira and Roque Santa Cruz both ruled out for a game he admitted is crucial to the club's ambitions.
"Manchester United have been a top club for many years, but we became a big team six months or a year ago," Mancini said. "It's not important if they have economic problems and that City have money. We just want to win the Carling Cup because I know how important it is to win the first trophy." (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Manchester City v Manchester United,
Live, BBC1, 8.0