Neville: keeper needs to take back seat
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Howard kept a clean sheet in the 1-0 win at Leeds United, and has impressed with his confidence and assured manner since arriving at Old Trafford.
The former New York/New Jersey MetroStars keeper has made the number one slot his own, keeping out Roy Carroll and forcing Barthez into a loan move to Marseille, which is still to be officially ratified.
"Tim didn't have too much to do," Neville commented after the Elland Road victory. "He's young and will get better.
"He's agile and, sometimes, goalkeepers can tend to want to be involved, but he's happy to take a back seat, and happy to make a save when called upon.
"He can go long periods without doing anything, especially at Old Trafford, but he's got to be ready when called upon, and he's doing that."
There is a feeling that Barthez, something of a showman, always wants to be involved in the action and was prone to needlessly leaving his penalty area during his early days with United.
The World Cup winner was certainly below par last season in terms of general form, but does tend to be at his best when the centre of attention - something that rarely occurs with The Red Devils, a case in point being the fact that Leeds could not muster a single shot on target in Saturday's Premiership clash.
Meanwhile, United boss Ferguson is attending an FA hearing on Monday after being charged for his verbal volley at fourth official Jeff Winter during his side's triumph at Newcastle United.