1:04pm Friday 4th January 2008
Manchester United full-back Gary Neville has admitted he faces a major challenge to force his way back into Sir Alex Ferguson's first team.
Neville has not played for the Red Devils since March after breaking his ankle and suffering a string of setbacks in his bid to regain fitness.
"Obviously what's going against me is the fact I haven't played football for 10 months.
"And I think it could be difficult for me to get a match," he said.
The England defender has been back in full training recently but was not risked by Ferguson during a productive festive period which yielded nine points for the title chasers.
And with Wes Brown filling in capably in his absence, the 32-year-old is realistic enough to know that he could struggle to win back a regular starting place.
"It's hard to say how far away from a return I am, to be honest," he told the club's official website.
"The lads have some momentum going now, they've defended well and Wes has done extremely well at right-back.
"There aren't many opportunities for the manager to throw me into the side to ease me back in."
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