Neville hails Chelsea's Lukaku for being 'authentic' and tells him how to win way back into Chelsea fans' hearts

Neville hails Chelsea's Lukaku for being 'authentic' and tells him how to win way back into Chelsea fans' hearts

GARY NEVILLE has praised Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku for his honesty following his recent explosive comments about his situation at Chelsea.

Speaking ahead of the Blues' game against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, Neville, 46, admitted he respects Lukaku for being so truthful.

Neville said: "When a player comes out and is truthful and authentic, I can't stand here and say it's something I don't want to hear.

"From our point of view he's told the truth but it's very difficult to unravel the truth when it's so cutting."

But Neville also admitted he also admitted he doesn't blame Thomas Tuchel for leaving Lukaku, 28, out of the Chelsea squad for the game against Liverpool.

He said: "I don't think any manager could be criticised for that approach. Control is critical for a manager, and if you have had those words said in the week, they're not easy words to hear.

"They're not easy words to hear for the manager, not easy words to hear for the owners who invested £100m in the club.

"But also the teammates who are looking for a brilliant season and trying to win a Premier League title.

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"I think Chelsea will have been amazed at those comments. I think it will have stunned them. They will have hurt, those words this week. They will have hurt his teammates.

"What I'm looking for now from Romelu Lukaku is not 'sorry', I don't think he can say sorry. If he's told the truth as brutally as he has, I think all he can do is make this relationship transactional and say 'look, I said what I said, I stand behind what I said.

"'In hindsight, I could have kept it to myself and not made those words public. But, what I guarantee you is that I will give you my all for the next three or four years of my contract because there's been a large investment in me'.

"What I don't want to see this week is [him saying] 'I didn't mean it, I'm sorry, I love this club.' That's not going to wash. The reality of it is that he has told the truth, we appreciate the truth, we have to in the media.

"He has to now somehow try to win his way back into Thomas Tuchel's plans. The fans have got to try and accept him somewhat.

"I think they will if he carries on playing and does what he's been doing. Win matches for the football club and the fans will be won round."

Lukaku has netted seven goals in 18 games since his return to Stamford Bridge, but has only started eight league games out of a possible 19.

He left Chelsea to sign for Everton back in 2014 and was brought back to the club for a club record fee of £97.5m in the summer from Inter Milan.

The Belgium international netted an impressive 64 goals in 95 games for the Italian giants and last season helped them win their first Scudetto in eleven years.

But he has struggled to adapt to life back in England and his comments revealing he hopes to return to Inter will not make his life any easier.

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