Gary Neville has handed Manchester United players a simple and clear message ahead of their meeting with Manchester City: just don’t lose.
Defeat at the Ethiad for Jose Mourinho’s men would confirm Man City, currently 16 points clear, as Premier League champions.
On the flip-side, Man United have the opportunity to spoil their party and pile further misery on Pep Guardiola following his side’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League.
And Neville has sent a message to United players, simply begging them to avoid losing at all costs.
The potential misery at hand for anyone associated with United today is enough to make you feel a bit nauseous. I have to admit that, if it wasn’t my job, I would consider not watching, taking a walk instead. Or maybe play chess. With myself. Anything.
The worst case scenario is, of course, a battering: City streaming forward with penetration and fervour, cutting through a United side – unable to get out of their own half – at will, the scoreline becoming embarrassing, followed by the killer blow of Oasis on the tannoy and blue shirts flooding the pitch at full time.
I usually like to leave a touch of optimism at the end, but not here. All my brain can really muster is the same mantra offered by Neville: please, just don’t lose.