Neville: Man Utd cannot afford to lose

Manchester United captain Gary Neville is demanding teammates find consistency in their performances after this week's international break.

The champions face a tough eight days and after a high-noon showdown with Everton on Saturday at Goodison Park, they take on Chelsea on Sunday week.

And Neville says they must not lose touch with the leaders.

"I don't expect us to go away to teams and lose," he said. "I expect us to be consistent like we were last year.

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"It's inevitable that you'll lose games in the Premier League. You're not going to go the whole season unbeaten and it's very rare that happens.

"Losing one, two or three games is acceptable, but no more. I wouldn't expect United to lose eight, nine and 10 games. If we do that, we'll have underperformed.

"We need to make sure we're in amongst it. The problem we've had in previous seasons was that we were too far behind and we need to make sure that we don't fall more than a couple of points behind the leaders."

Neville, who hopes to return from six months out with injury for the Chelsea game, says Liverpool and Arsenal will be strong challengers for United's crown.

"It will all settle down in the next couple of months," he said. "Liverpool will be strong and I'm sure Arsenal, ourselves and Chelsea will also be there. I'd imagine it will be the same four battling for the title again.

"At this stage of the season it is in our hands. We're playing the other big teams in the next few months and that will give us the chance to get closer to them."

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