While Manchester United’s first team are in a strong run of form, the same can’t be said of the club’s under-23 side.

After ending 2020 with a 6-1 loss, United began 2021 with a 4-2 defeat to Leicester.

There were some bright moments, including Harvey Neville’s cross to Anthony Elanga for United’s second goal.

Morecambe v Manchester United U21 - EFL Trophy
(Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

But the defensive issues are certainly a concern which United’s coaches will be working hard to try and fix.

Young right-back Neville provided his first assist at under-23 level, and he sent a message out after the game saying he was glad to be back out there, making his third appearance of the season for the team.

His dad Phil, now boss of Inter Miami, had an abrupt response, reminding him his side lost and there is nothing to celebrate about that. His short message simply read: “U lost.”

Neville Sr.’s message may seem harsh, but it is designed to motivate. A winning attitude was what helped he and brother Gary become successes at United.

 

Neither would claim to be the most naturally gifted footballers, but they made up for it with their application, work ethic and determination to succeed.

Harvey Neville, 18, has a chance to follow in their footsteps and his assist in midweek showed a flash of quality.

But his principal focus will be trying to help the defence improve after leaking goals.

United’s next under-23 fixture is a big one, at the end of the month. A home match against a Liverpool side who beat us 5-3 earlier in the season.

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