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Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Everton's Neville 'never' joining Man City

Phil Neville
Merseyside Blue maybe, but Phil Neville will never be a Manchester Blue

He might have previously swapped Manchester red for Everton blue, but Phil Neville insists that he would never join Manchester City.

"No, never," Neville told BBC Radio Manchester. "It's not something that will ever happen.

"When you've got Red blood you just can't see yourself with Blue blood. I grew up a Red, hating Man City.

"When I go there with Everton now, I get absolutely slaughtered. But I understand the way they feel."

It is now over four years since Neville left Old Trafford for Everton.

But, ahead of Saturday evening's scheduled return with the Mersey blues, which he is likely to miss through injury, Neville admits that he stills feels a sense of rivalry with City, and certainly does not object to the banter and abuse.

"If someone was a diehard Blue, I'd give them stick just like they do.

"I think it's fantastic and it makes football special.

"You go there and they've even got blue Tomato Ketchup."

Even having Mark Hughes, a former United player himself, as City's manager does not change Neville's stance.

"I think when he first got the job we all hoped he was a plant from the red side of Manchester.

"That's what I was telling everyone on Merseyside, anyway."

My first game for Everton was against United. I learned very quickly you've got to move on, and I've done that

Phil Neville

Injury is likely to prevent Neville making a playing return to Manchester United with Everton on Saturday, but he will have no problem putting aside his loyalty for United.

"Emotionally I'm fine," he said. "Emotionally I want Everton to win.

"For that 90 minutes I'm focussed on us winning because we need the points.

"My first game for Everton was against United and I learned very quickly that you've got to move on.

"The excitement for me would be to run out again at Old Trafford, which is the best stadium in the world.

"To play there hundreds of times is very special and made me proud.

"I can see players in the away team dressing room who are physically scared to go out there."

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