Why Phil Neville hated 'overhyped' Merseyside derbies

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Phil Neville has opened up about his dislike of the Merseyside derby, even whilst Everton captain.

The 41-year-old joined the Toffees from Manchester United in 2005 and went on to spend eight years at Goodison Park before hanging up his boots.

Thus, the former England international played in both the Manchester and Merseyside derby and was clear in which one he prefers.

Speaking to brother Gary on Sky Sports' Soccerbox show, Phil said:

I hated Merseyside derbies, I really did. I thought they were overhyped.

I think [in] a Manchester derby, we used to talk about from 48 hours before. Merseyside derbies were a week before.

The masseur would put up on the wall "five more sleeps", the next day "four more sleeps", the next day "three more sleeps until the Merseyside derby". It was the biggest game.

Neville famously sent off twice in the derby during the 2005/06 season and in the 2007/08 season.

We used to go into derby days full of confidence thinking we could compete but Liverpool always used to play the game.

We got too involved in trying to smash someone early on, fans saying you've got to die for the badge. It was the only game Everton wanted to win.

His manager at the time was David Moyes, and Neville revealed there was one specific instruction the Everton gaffer used to give his players ahead of the matches.

It's a tight tunnel at Goodison Park. All you can here in the tight tunnel is Jamie Carragher, in his squeaky Scouse accent, shouting "come on lads!".

Every game we played against Liverpool, David Moyes would say "don't let Jamie Carragher ref the game".

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