Neville praises Lukaku for being 'authentic and honest' in explosive interview

Gary Neville has praised Romelu Lukaku for being ‘authentic and honest’ during an explosive interview where he slammed the tactics of Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.

The interview was released just days before Chelsea’s crucial Premier League clash against Liverpool, with the Belgium international also revealing that he’d like to return to former club Inter Milan in the near future. 

As a result of his comments, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel decided to leave him out of the squad for the match at Stamford Bridge, with showdown talks set to take place between the player and manager on Monday.

And while Neville can under understand why Tuchel and Chelsea fans are frustrated with his remarks, he believes the former Manchester United striker should get some credit for speaking his mind. 

‘We have to applaud Romelu Lukaku in some ways for being brave enough, or whatever you would call it, to come out and speak the truth,’ he told a Sky Sports Podcast.

‘I’ve called for players to be more authentic, to be more honest.

‘He is experienced. We have to imagine he knows those words will travel back and the impact those words would have.

‘If I was a Chelsea fan today, or a Chelsea coach or owner, I’d feel really disappointed by my player saying that, particularly when you’ve invested so much in him.

‘What I would expect of Romelu Lukaku in the next few days is a ‘sorry, I didn’t mean it’.

‘The best anyone can hope for now is more truth. ‘Look, I said the words I said, maybe I should have held them to myself but they were the truth. However, I will commit to my team-mates, I am sorry I caused the problems that I have caused to my team-mates in the build-up to a big game’. That’s the thing he has to apologise for.

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‘So the best he can do is ask for forgiveness in the dressing room with his team-mates.

‘Players ordinarily forgive each other, they’ve all been in situations where they’ve made mistakes and you say ‘right, okay coach, he can come back in’.

‘I think Romelu Lukaku will have been watching that game, suffering a little bit I think, knowing he would want to be out there with his team-mates.’

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