PERHAPS David Beckham should come every week.
Since Becks has been back in Blighty, Miami have slumped to the bottom of the Eastern Conference, morale being sapped with every loss racked up.
But Goldenballs – and his newly golden hair – was in the house on Sunday night and was cheered by a much improved display from Neville’s men who were good value for a lead given to them on 71 minutes by Robbie Robinson before Philadelphia Union snatched a draw late on.
In the end, it was a fair result and at least gives Neville something to build on as Beckham saw first hand what his old pal’s team are capable of when they’re on the money.
The home midweek 0-5 thumping at the hands of New England was a low point.
But Neville told SunSport: “David’s presence is vital, and it shows that we are all in it together. Since the defeat on Wednesday is a collective togetherness that even surprised me, in terms of the ownership and all of the staff.
“We still need to improve in many things and the strength of the ownership makes this football club. Never once have they doubted me.”
This team very much remains a work in progress – and some major squad adjustments still need to be pushed through this summer – though there were, finally, signs of recovery after such a nightmare run.
Brazilian midfielder Gregore was outstanding in the middle of the park while Shawcross and defensive partner Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez were equally impressive.
Neville added:”I am massively proud of the players, we deserved a win but the attitude was everything you wanted to see in a team.
“It has been a really tough few days but I saw hurt in the players’ eyes and they gave me a performance. I just wanted to see a group who would fight for each other and make the fans proud.
“We are hurting, the ownership are hurting and we wanted the three points but what gives me pride is that we didn’t just play the long ball. We had an identity everyone enjoyed watching.
“It’s baby steps – a foundation – but it’s just a start. We didn’t get our rewards but we will do. That’s all I ask for. We have been criticized and rightly so but the players deserve praise after this.“
Bleached blonde Becks saw Neville start with Kieran Gibbs for the first time since his move from West Brom while former Real Madrid hitman Gonzalo Higuain was given the nod in attack alongside older brother Federico.
Neville has demanded the younger Higuain to shed some pounds though, early on, he looked quite sharp. The Argentine remains a cut above when on the ball but clearly still needs to work on his conditioning.
Miami’s main problem, however, is – as it has been the case for most of the season – turning possession into goals.
The process can be a slog while at the back, Shawcross has struggled in MLS following his arrival from Stoke even if he was much better on Sunday night.
Former PSV keeper Nick Marsman has injected some solidity yet the defence still creaks at times.
Miami were comfortable in the first 45 minutes without looking really threatening.
Former Celtic winger Lewis Morgan almost sneaked a cross over Union keeper Matt Freese on 28 minutes and Robinson went close just before the break but there wasn’t much for a healthy, excitable crowd to get too excited about.
Well, that wasn’t until 20 minutes from time when Robinson broke down the left thanks to a great through-ball from Gonzalo Higuain and squeezed in the opener.
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Cue wild scenes in the stands as 14,057 inside Drv Pink Stadium went nuts. On the touchline, however, Neville was rooted to the spot. He knew there could be twists and turns to come.
And so it proved on 85 minutes when Kacper Przybylko bundled in an equaliser which was against the run of play yet one you felt was coming the longer the home side went without doubling their lead.
It was a punch to the stomach but Neville, and Beckham, are still standing.
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