Bailly: Neville criticism is damaging Man Utd's young players

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The Ivory Coast international was singled out for his performance in the Red Devils' defeat to Brighton but has hit back ahead of taking on Tottenham

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has hit out at Gary Neville, claiming the former Red Devil's constant criticism of the current side is damaging the younger players.

Neville was particularly critical of Bailly following United's defeat at the hands of Brighton on Sunday, claiming the Ivory Coast international is among a crop of centre-backs at Old Trafford that are not trustworthy enough to win a Premier League title.

But ex-Villarreal centre-back Bailly has bitten back and urged those pundits who have previously represented the club to instead show support, particularly towards the more inexperienced players.

“I think the criticism was a bit harsh, particularly from people who have played the game and have probably made mistakes themselves during their career," he told the Daily Mirror.

"As young players, we need support from these people. If we got more support from these people, that can help us. But negative comments all of the time doesn’t help the young players or the team.

“It was not just one individual performance on Sunday. It was the whole team that struggled. But it was just one battle lost, not the whole war.

"But it’s one game. We cannot forget that. We shouldn’t just focus on the negative, build on the positive and starting with Tottenham on Monday.”

Neville was not the only pundit to be critical of Bailly's performance at the Amex Stadium, with former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness claiming the 24-year-old did not know if he was in "New York or New Year".

And Bailly again defended himself, calling out Souness for showing him a lack of respect by making his analysis personal rather than looking at the collective failures of the team.

“I always take criticism well when it is constructive, when it is there to help and I actually like criticism but in a positive way.

“But what Graeme Souness said was a little bit disrespectful because it became so personal and it’s not the sort of criticism that can help a young player improve and become a better player.”

Bailly will be hoping United return to winning ways when they host Tottenham on Monday at Old Trafford.

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