Neville back in reckoning to ease Ferguson's injury worries

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Gary Neville put himself in contention for a Manchester United first-team return by coming through an hour of last night's reserve-team win over West Bromwich Albion.

Neville made his comeback in a 4-1 triumph after three months on the sidelines with a groin injury suffered during the Champions' League qualifier against Debrecen in August.

It was a welcome sight for Sir Alex Ferguson, whose squad has been racked by injuries this season and, on a chilly evening at Ewen Fields, Neville turned in his usual professional performance, although he was not extended by a disappointing Baggies side.

When Ferguson pulled Neville out of a planned outing at Burton Albion on Monday, he suggested that the veteran England international was unlikely to be involved against Charlton at The Valley tomorrow.

However, with a Champions' League encounter with Villarreal next week, there must be a chance Neville will grab a place on the bench at Charlton in the hope that he can prove his fitness.

Contrary to earlier speculation, Roy Keane was not involved and the Irishman's presence was not missed by an otherwise young United side who maintained their position at the head of FA Premier Reserve League North with their sixth successive victory.

Once again, it was the US-born Italian teenager Giuseppe Rossi who caught the eye, netting a second after Kenny Cooper put United in front.

An Adrian Manchester own goal ensured United were three up at half-time, with Marcus Neumayr wrapping up victory after Stuart Nicholson had pulled one back for the visitors.