Neville hopes to enjoy protection of three lions on return to Anfield

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The Independent Football

Sven Goran Eriksson, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard took time out at Anfield yesterday to launch a campaign for good behaviour among England supporters at the World Cup. It might have been more beneficial for Gary Neville had the appeal started with immediate effect.

The Manchester United defender was hounded throughout his club's FA Cup exit at Liverpool 12 days ago over those now infamous goal celebrations at Old Trafford and, though he has returned to the city representing his country, the 31-year-old is aware that the three lions badge does not bring diplomatic immunity.

Neville will be far better received inside Anfield tonight than outside England's hotel. As Beckham said: "The last time I played here for England was against Finland when we won 2-1. I received a great reception from the fans, it was incredible to hear the Kop singing my name - and the following Saturday they ripped me apart because I was playing for Manchester United."