Gary Neville hits back at critics of Ralf Rangnick after Jesse Lingard decision

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Gary Neville has hit back at critics of Ralf Rangnick after he chose not to bring Jesse Lingard on for what would likely be his final appearance at Old Trafford in a Manchester United shirt on Monday.

Lingard was left as an unused substituted in United’s 3-0 victory against Brentford in what was their last home match of the season. The 29-year-old is expected to be leaving in the summer with his contract expiring.

Louie Scott, Lingard’s brother, led the angry calls against the club on social media after his sibling was denied an Old Trafford farewell. In today’s press conference pre-Brighton, Rangnick had to defend his decision not to bring the England international on.

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He explained: “To start with, I think in the last couple of weeks under my tenure he has played far more games than he used to before I came. Number two: on game day against Chelsea he contacted me in the hotel and asked me to release him from the game and to also release him from the training session the following day and two days after the Chelsea game for personal family reasons, and I also allowed him to do that.

“And this was the reason with only three subs, unfortunately – in the other leagues you have five subs – I had to make a decision between bringing on Edinson Cavani or Jesse Lingard, or even the young Alejandro Garnacho, whom I would have loved to have brought on and given a chance after going 3-0 up with 15 minutes to play But I took the decision to bring on Edinson for the very reasons I just explained to you.

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“Had I not brought on someone maybe someone else might have posted it was classless not to bring on Edinson Cavani or someone else might have posted ‘why didn’t the manager bring on the young Alejandro Garnacho?’ With only three subs and two already done, you have to make a decision and this will not be to the liking of everybody, this is also part of the game.

“To be honest, I’m not reading a lot, I’ve not had the time in the last six months to read, I’m not Instagram, as you know, I’m not on Facebook, I’m not engaged in those areas.My focus has always been here, with my coaching staff, to develop the team.

“In those days with social media, there is always somebody posting something and it’s important for us at the club not to take too much notice of that. Unless it’s the player himself, it might be a different story.”

Commenting on Rangnick’s defense of his substitution choice, Neville was surprised that there had been any outrage in Lingard not being given a send off. I’ve tweeted: “I don’t get the Lingard fuss at all.

“I saw far better players than him not get a perfect send off. He wants to leave, he wanted a free transfer.

“He’s got it. Move on.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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