Gary Neville’s praise for Dan Ashworth and Newcastle’s ‘strong foundation’ as he slams Man Utd

Gary Neville has hailed Dan Asworth for quickly building a ‘strong foundation’ at Newcastle United as he slammed Manchester United for not appointing their own sporting director. The Magpies avenged their Carabao Cup final defeat to the Red Devils by running riot at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Eddie Howe named eight changes to his starting eleven, and was forced into a very early change when Matt Targett limped off with injury. Substitute Miguel Almiron’s opening goal was quickly added to by Lewis Hall’s first strike in black-and-white, and Joe Willock made sure of the result with an emphatic strike around the hour mark.

It means Erik ten Hag’s side have suffered back-to-back 3-0 defeat on home soil in a matter of four days, having suffered the same scoreline in the Manchester derby. Neville was on commentary duty for Sky Sports for the fourth-round tie, and belives the Red Devils have been given two lessons by clubs run in a ‘complete opposite’ fashion.

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He posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: “On my way up to the gantry last night I bumped into Dan Ashworth. He transformed the FA’s structure, set Brighton up for this incredible period of success and has now built a strong foundation for the new owners at Newcastle. He’s competent, highly qualified and knows what he’s doing. Will work with his coach , recruitment team and other departments coherently and calmly.

“In the last two matches Manchester United have played two clubs that have installed proper football departments to support the team on the pitch and off it. The complete opposite of United. We haven’t got a sporting director!

“I used to travel up to Newcastle and feel sorry for their great fans when the energy and enthusiasm had been sapped from them under Mike Ashley. It was painful to see. Last night we saw the Theatre of Dreams turn into the Theatre of Nothing.

“Every single United fan bored and flat. On the pitch the players in shock, the performances woeful and a manager struggling in front of our eyes. We’ve seen it before, we know how it ends and we’ve had enough.”

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