PHIL NEVILLE’S son was brutally booed by Inter Miami fans which led to his emotional father blasting: “Don’t go for my boy.”
Fed-up supporters of the David Beckham owned MLS club held up signs calling for Manchester United legend Neville to be sacked after their 1-0 defeat at home to New York Red Bulls on Wednesday.
Tom Barlow sealed the points for Red Bulls, who finished the match with only ten men after Cameron Harper was sent-off late on.
That result left Neville’s Inter Miami bottom of the Eastern Conference with just 15 points and two wins from their last 13 matches.
Their misery was further compounded when Leonardo Campagna missed a late penalty to earn a draw.
After Red Bulls broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute, one group of fans in the DRV PNK Stadium unfurled a banner that read: “Neville Out!”
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And when boss Neville introduced his son Harvey, 20, for the final 10 minutes a chorus of jeers rang out from the sparse crowd in attendance.
The right-back was then booed each time he touched the ball – leading to a fierce response from his dad afterwards.
Ex-England and Everton ace Neville, 46, said: “In moments of real adversity, you learn a lot about yourself and the players you have, and I was incredibly proud of the young boy they were booing.
“It showed great courage. It hurt. It hurt. But I understand, and I think he understands. Do I agree with it? Probably not. But I’m his coach and I believe in young players.”
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Neville then directly pleaded with supporters to vent their anger straight to him rather than his boy or any other player.
He said: “Hit me guys, I can handle that. I can take that. I’ve had it all my career.
“We have the best fans. I understand their frustration, the banners and all that because it comes with the territory being a professional football manager.
“I would say to the supporters, ‘Just come for me.’ Support the team and the young boys…Don’t knock one of our own. Just come for me.
“If you’re unhappy, hit the manager. Don’t go for one of my young kids. That hurts and that’s personal.”
Defender DeAndre Yedlin echoed those sentiments by saying: “We understand the fans’ frustration, we’re frustrated, as well and have not been nearly good enough.
“As far as booing Harvey, he’s one of us. If you’re going to boo Harvey, then boo all of us.
“He’s done the steps he needed to do to get playing time and get on the field. He works hard every day in training like everyone else.
“He’s not here just because his father’s the coach. He’s a great young player. I don’t think it’s right to go after one player, especially a young player.”
Now Beckham and his fellow co-owners Jorge and Jose Mas could have a difficult decision to make on the future of Neville.
Inter Miami appeared to have transformed their dire form in May with two straight league wins but have since nosedived again.
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Former England Women’s head coach Neville took charge in January 2021 and finished their debut season 11th in the Eastern Conference.
The club reached the MLS Cup playoffs for the first time by finishing 6th in his second season, but they were eliminated in the first round courtesy of a 3–0 loss at New York City FC.
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