Gary Neville reveals he held talks with Sky Sports producers after ‘billion-pound bottlejobs’ jibe at Chelsea

GARY NEVILLE has revealed he held talks with a Sky Sports producer after labelling Chelsea “billion-pound bottlejobs” during their Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men succumbed to a 1-0 loss at Wembley as Virgil van Dijk’s extra-time header handed a depleted, youthful Reds team the trophy.

Gary Neville has revealed the discussion with Sky Sports producers after his criticism of ChelseaRex

Mauricio Pochettino was not happy with Neville’s remarkGetty

As Jurgen Klopp‘s players celebrated the late winning goal, Neville labelled Chelsea “billion-pound bottlejobs” in reference to the huge sum Blues owner Todd Boehly has spent on transfers since arriving in 2022.

Pochettino hit back at the remark during his post-match press conference as he labelled it “unfair”.

And Neville has now said he also considered the tag may have been slightly harsh in the immediate aftermath as he sought advice from a Sky Sports producer.

Speaking on Stick to Football, he said: “After the game I went to the producer and asked whether it was harsh.

“He said it might be a touch harsh, but he said, ‘We’re on television, in entertainment and it’s one of the biggest moments this season, last minute goal,’ and secondly, ‘Did you think they bottled it?’

“I said that they froze in extra time, there is no doubt that they were playing with fear and froze.

“I was actually going to do a roll back on my podcast, the day after, and say that I shouldn’t have probably used that word ‘bottle’.

“But when I heard that Mauricio thought the team were playing for penalties, I thought that it was the epitome of freezing.

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“When I think of it today, people say it’s a great line, but I don’t think of it as a great line, I don’t feel proud about it.

“I remember my David Luiz comment 10 years ago, and I regret that because it was personal. I don’t personalise a line anymore.

“Bottle doesn’t mean cowardliness, they just froze on the day.”

Following his initial response to Neville, Pochettino hit back at him yet again after Chelsea’s 3-2 win over Leeds in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening.

He said: “It’s like Gary, my friend, what have you done? His opinion now is a run and a run and a run. I cannot be upbeat about that.

“With all my love to Gary, it is not fair to use this type of word for a team that is so brave and a club that always shows it fights for big things.

“What can we do? Now only with this type of performance, show that we are brave, can win games, and of course, nothing to say, we keep moving.

“It is not important for the team, it is not important for us, because we know who we are and how we behave and why we lost the game against Liverpool is nothing to do with this.

“It is because of all different things. You need to accept opinions. But that is not for us.

“We know we are brave, working hard, and if people want to be run and run and run this comment… look, nothing to say. It is opinion and that’s it. We won.”

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