Gary Neville hits back at claims he was ordered to 'nail' David de Gea
Published 24/01/2013 | 05:00
Gary Neville has rejected claims he was asked to "nail" David de Gea following Manchester United's Premier League draw with Tottenham on Sunday.
Neville, a Sky Sports analyst, was typically forthright in his assessment of De Gea's weak punch, which led to Clint Dempsey's injury-time equaliser and indicated Alex Ferguson would share the same displeasure so obvious in the body language of his players.
However, it was then suggested by former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys that Neville had been asked to highlight De Gea's flaws, although he did not say who by. Keys said of Neville: "I think he was sent out with an agenda. I don't think Gary would have done that had he not been told: 'Listen, finger him.'"
Neville's response was straight to the point. "This is not interesting, it's wrong," he said. "I never have and never will take instructions off anybody to say anything!" he tweeted. Neville subsequently removed the tweet, even though the response was understandable given no one has questioned his objectivity before.
In addition, the England assistant coach had already underlined how highly he rates De Gea in another Twitter posting.
"For the record I think De Gea can be a great GK. He is young in an unforgiving environment and will physically mature in next 2 years."