'I feel bad now': Gary Neville's latest response to Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea after 'bottle job' claim

Gary Neville accused Chelsea of 'bottling the job' against Liverpool at Wembley.

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has said he feels bad now for saying Chelsea 'bottled the job' against Liverpool and hinted it was said instinctively.

The Blues had Jurgen Klopp's vastly inexperienced side on the ropes before shrinking in extra time to allow them back into the game. Virgil van Dijk then scored late to condemn them to a defeat.

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Asked to clarify what he meant on Monday Night Football, Neville said: "I feel bad now! No, look, I’m not going to sit here and say it was an instinctive commentary moment. I mean, it was instinctive because I didn’t know what was going to happen in extra time.

"But Peter [Drury] did about 35 seconds after the goal and Carra [Jamie Carragher] did about 25 seconds and I was getting angrier.

"If you hear my commentary during extra-time I was getting angrier with Chelsea from the first minute of extra-time until two minutes to go because I could smell the fear in Chelsea from the very first minute of extra-time when I said: “Why are they sitting off them? Why are they letting these young lads grow?”, and then Jurgen Klopp started to grow.

"If you remember, there was a chorus, a song, that Liverpool fans were singing because they could smell the blood, they could smell the fear in those blue shirts.

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"I got to half-time of extra-time and I said: somehow, Mauricio Pochettino and all those players have got to work out that if they got into this position at the start of the season and told themselves they’ve got 15 minutes against a Liverpool team that have only got two players that would make their starting XI normally, that they would snap their hand off!."

On the phrase ‘bottle jobs’ carrying connotations of cowardice, Neville replied: "I don’t think it suggests cowardice. To be fair, lots of England teams that I played in in many tournaments were accused of bottling it.

"If you remember, one of the greatest football players of all time and greatest analysts of all time, who I’ve got huge respect for, went for us like you wouldn’t believe on the first day of the season in 1995, Alan Hansen, when he said that you couldn’t win anything with kids.

"We were sat there at Manchester United having to go to training on Sunday morning, six of us that were 19-20 years of age, not 24-25 years of age by the way, and we had one of the most respected people in British football and I still respect today. He was entitled to say what he said.

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"If we hadn’t turned it around that season and won the double and won trophies, it would have stuck with us. I’m not going to say the words of “man up”, but there’s an element here of: this is football at the highest level where you’ve got to perform under scrutiny."

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino will get the chance to respond to Neville again later this afternoon during his press conference ahead of the Leeds United FA Cup game.

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