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'Good, not great' - Neville sees signs of Man Utd progress under Mourinho

The ex-Red Devils defender believes a runner-up finish in the Premier League and potential FA Cup triumph sees the club moving in the right direction.
Apr 24th 2018, 8:41 AM 4,879 15

MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE not enjoyed a “great season” admits Gary Neville, but they have been “good” and shown further signs of progress.

The Red Devils lifted three trophies during Jose Mourinho’s debut campaign at Old Trafford, with the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League captured.

Returning to Premier League title contention was the target for 2017-18, but arch-rivals Manchester City have established domestic dominance with a league and Carabao Cup double.

United can, however, still wrap up a runner-up finish and FA Cup glory – having booked a final date with Chelsea in that competition – and Neville believes there is cause for optimism.

The Red Devils legend told Sky Sports: “For United, is it a great season? No. But it is a good season because the momentum is still going as they have the opportunity to win the FA Cup and finish second, which would be progression.

“The importance of getting another medal round the necks of the players should not be underestimated in terms of keeping building and challenging Manchester City next season.”

Mourinho will be expected to close the gap on City in 2018-19, but that will be no easy task.

The Portuguese has already admitted as much, with Pep Guardiola expected to be as busy in the summer transfer market as the rest of his Premier League rivals.

“Can we improve next season? Let’s try,” Mourinho said after guiding United to the FA Cup final with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

“Whether Manchester City keep this level or improve this level, only they can say. But if they’re going to invest on top of the team they already have, it will be difficult for all of us.

“In this moment, I don’t even think about next season, or the cup final, I think about our next game, Arsenal, because we need one point to finish in the top four and we need seven to finish second. And we deserve to finish second. We have to finish second.”

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