Gary Neville identifies why United have turned their form around

Manchester United Old Trafford

Manchester United have improved their form over the past fortnight, and former player Gary Neville has given his view on one important factor in that.

A fortnight ago it was all doom and gloom at Manchester United, after losing 3-0 at home to Manchester City.

Hot on the heels of another league home loss by the same scoreline to Liverpool, and the knives were being sharpened for manager David Moyes.

The Red Devils have since gone three games unbeaten, beating Aston Villa 4-1, Newcastle 4-0, and a 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in between.

As United head to Germany for their quarter-final second leg, former United captain Gary Neville has his theory on why the club's form has picked up.

Speaking on Skysports, he said: "What United have had in the last couple of weeks is rotation. In the Bayern game Kagawa provided that in the second half.

"It's been a feature really the last couple of weeks (in the league) the way those two have linked, Mata and Kagawa."

Neville is right in his noting with regards to squad rotation. Injuries and suspensions in defence have demanded United shift their backline around, giving Phil Jones a run at centre-back and Alexander Buttner opportunities at left-back.

Mata being cup-tied has meant he has been able to rest up, and be fresh for the weekend, as displayed against Newcastle.

David Moyes has also handed fringe striker Javier Hernandez more of a role, while Shinji Kagawa featuring with extra regularity has allowed him the chance to show what he can do.

Essentially, United are now using their squad to greater effect, and rested a number of players at the weekend including goalkeeper David de Gea.

If everybody around the club is getting their chances it will make for a happier dressing room, and ideally, results on the pitch will follow - but they will have to do that without the inspirational Juan Mata in midweek.

Neville was flowing in his assessment of the Spaniard, but adamant that to thrive he must play through the middle as he did against Newcastle in the absence of Wayne Rooney. 

"That's where he needs to play, I don't think he can play wide. United need pace in wide areas, he will get exposed in big games, he's obviously better off the front. These players are better in central areas, and need to be free."


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