Gary Neville makes Kevin Keegan comparison and St James’ Park atmosphere claim after Newcastle United’s win against Manchester United

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The Gallowgate faithful received significant praise from the Sky Sports pundit following Sunday’s win over his former club.

Gary Neville compared the St James Park atmosphere during Newcastle United’s win over Manchester United to the scenes he experienced during his playing career with the Red Devils.

The former England defender was part of the Sky Sports commentary team as second-half goals from midfielder Joe Willock and substitute Callum Wilson gave Eddie Howe’s side an invaluable win over their Carabao Cup Final conquerors and further enhance their chances of securing a place in next season’s Champions League.

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One key factor in the Magpies win was the intensity and passion shown on the pitch by the men in black and white and that was more-than-matched in the stands as the St James Park faithful got behind their side with a passion-laden display throughout an eventful 90 minutes.

Several Newcastle players and Howe himself praised the Magpies supporters for the backing they received and Neville admitted he saw similarities to the atmosphere he experienced when he was part of the Manchester United side that crashed to a 5-0 defeat against Kevin Keegan’s ‘Entertainers’ in October 1996.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, the former Red Devils captain described the backing Eddie Howe and his side received as the best he had witnessed on Tyneside during his time with Sky Sports.

He said: “I have to say, when I played against Newcastle United, even beyond the Kevin Keegan years when they were going for titles, there was a big atmosphere up here and you knew you had to weather that and deal with it. It was a proper football club, a proper ground.

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“Then all of a sudden, I finished my football career and came up here for 10 years working in this capacity, it was morbid. There was no connection between the team, the fans, the owners. Everybody was just low, the energy had been sapped out of the place and I don’t know how many times I said it that actually I didn’t look forward to coming up here and that’s actually a crime, to be fair.

He continued: “That re-emerged for me today, it’s the first time I’ve been up here for quite a while and that’s the best atmosphere I’ve seen in my days working for Sky and that’s 11 years. I have to say, looking back to my playing career when I played here, I lost 5-0 one Sunday afternoon. That atmosphere at the end reminded me of what it was like for us as Manchester United players back then, probably worse in some ways because obviously five is a proper doing.”

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