‘No excuses’: Neville says injuries aren’t to blame for United’s ‘really low performance levels’

Gary Neville has again reiterated his belief that Manchester United cannot blame their dismal performances on the lack of players available.

The Reds are fresh off the back of a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, which was undoubtedly a case of one point gained rather than two dropped, as the home side were relentless in their dominance.

Ahead of kick-off, Erik ten Hag was dealt a 57th separate case of injury or illness to a player after Antony was ruled out of the clash through an unspecified issue. There has been speculation that his absence was actually due to a fallout with the manager in training on Friday, however, the club have since dismissed such claims.

Numerous sidelined defenders also led to 19-year-old Willy Kambwala making his third senior start, again being called upon to step in for the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot have been taking it in turns to deputise on the left flank in the absences of Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

Neville unconvinced by injury crisis

Still, Neville is adamant that the ongoing crisis in the treatment room cannot be used as an excuse for United, with the club now winless in four matches.

He told Sky Sports: “The main thing is the performance levels, and we’ve seen at Brentford, we’ve now seen at Bournemouth. They are really low performance levels, which is a worry.

“I know people point towards the injuries, and Manchester United have had a mountain of injuries. But I said the same against Liverpool. Nine of that team that started on Saturday would probably be in the starting XI if everyone was fit – [Andre] Onana, [Harry] Maguire, Dalot, Casemiro, [Kobbie] Mainoo, Bruno Fernandes and [Rasmus] Hojlund, [Alejandro] Garnacho and [Marcus] Rashford.”

“Those are nine players who are Manchester United’s best players in those positions,” the former captain continued. “You bring in Luke Shaw, and you bring in Martinez, and you can possibly argue between Varane and Maguire. But there’s nothing in it.

“They have had lots of injuries, but at the moment, there’s no excuses for the levels of the performances we’re seeing, and every team has one or two players missing at certain points.”

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