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Neville fears early exit for United

February 24, 2004 12:40 IST

England defender Phil Neville says Manchester United will go out of the Champions League if their fail to improve on their recent form.

Alex Ferguson's team travel to Porto on Wednesday for the opening leg of their Champions League first knockout round tie against the Portuguese champions having lost to Middlesbrough and drawn with struggling Leeds in their last two league games.

"Before the Leeds game the manager said that he didn't want us to stutter into the Champions League on Wednesday but we did stutter and the pressure is now on in Porto," Neville told the Manchester Evening News paper.

"Hopefully Wednesday can be a catalyst."

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"It is a massive game for the club. In the past we have raised our game in the Champions League and we certainly need to do that in Portugal because if we play anything like we have done in the last couple of weeks, we are going to be out of the competition."

"The lads are tuned into Wednesday. We know it is a big occasion and hopefully that will bring the best out of us."

The English champions have conceded 11 goals in their last five matches and Ferguson will also be without defender Mikael Silvestre for the next three weeks with an ankle ligament injury.

By contrast, Porto are unbeaten in the Portuguese premier league this season and beat Vitoria Guimaraes 3-0 on Saturday.

Jeremy Butler
Source:
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