I made Man Utd debut next to Cristiano Ronaldo.. now I'm learning 'ugly' League Two football and getting hit in the head | The SunApril 10, 2023
MANCHESTER UNITED youngster Charlie McNeill is learning his trade in League Two months after playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.
The striker has scored one goal in 11 games since joining Newport County on loan in January.
He has also achieved one of his dreams this season – to make his United debut.
McNeill, 19, came on as a second-half substitute in the Europa League defeat to Real Sociedad.
And he was lucky enough to play alongside his childhood idol Ronaldo, which he also described as a "dream".
In an interview with BBC Sport McNeill said: "Fortunately I got to make my debut and I was up front with him and it was surreal.
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"So that was another dream come true.
"I thought I had been getting close a couple of times and then the new manager [Erik Ten Hag] came in and I had been training really well with him.
"He had seen I had been doing really well, so he put me in the squad.
"I didn't really expect to come on we were losing 1-0 so I thought he would put somebody else on. But he put me on and I was just buzzing, in front of 75,000, a dream come true again."
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McNeill is now plying his trade in the bottom tier and is still getting used to the rough and tumble style of play.
But he is embracing the challenge and views it as an opportunity to improve his physical attributes.
He added: "In the first game I took one to the back of the head and he was just like 'Welcome to League Two'.
"And I thought 'yes, I'm here now.' I had a really quick introduction. I thought 'that's going to be every game now,' so I kind of expected it.
"It has been tough. Obviously physically is the main thing. But I have really enjoyed it, getting up against defenders.
"Challenging for headers, all of that ugly side of the game, that is the stuff I need to work on."
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