Football: Neville: Mark is like Schmeichel.
But he's now silenced critics who called him as a brash Aussie with an inflated frame and ego.
His stunning display in Real Madrid's Bernabeu Stadium earned United a 0-0 Champions Cup quarter-final draw.
A string of match-saving stops against prompted Neville to declare: "With Mark in that kind of form, it gives the defence confidence because we know he's there if teams do get through.
"When that happens we know we've a great chance of him making saves. It was the same with Peter Schmeichel and now it's like that with Bozzy.
"He made some great saves in Madrid, but at this stage of the competition you know your keeper is going to have to make two or three great saves in matches.
"If he doesn't you're in trouble. When Schmeichel was here you knew you could always rely on him in the big European games. We knew that at times during a season we would have to call on Schmeichel to make saves that would turn matches in our favour and he always did.
``Now we're get that same confidence about Bozzy."
Neville witnessed at close quarters the anguish Bosnich endured while critics and fans alike wrote him off as a poor replacement for Schmeichel.
The Bosnich response was to work like a beast to prove everyone, including Sir Alex Ferguson, wrong - and his reward came in Madrid.
"It's not been easy for Boz,'' says Neville. "He's had a hard time of it from everyone really so it's brilliant he's playing so fantastically well in these big European games.
"He was fabulous against Fiorentina a few weeks ago and now he's done it again in Spain. But he didn't need to prove anything to us because he proved himself a great keeper at Villa.
"Now his injuries have settled down I'm sure he'll go on and prove a great keeper for us just like Schmeichel did.''
Bosnich may be suspect in the occasional Premiership game - but in Europe his reputation is growing fast.
The defining moments of his second spell at United have come against foreign opposition - against Inter-Continental Cup rivals Palmeiras in Tokyo, Fiorentina at Old Trafford and last Tuesday in Madrid.
Bosnich says: "Anyone who knows me knows I'm a confident person. But sometimes when you go to a new place it takes a while to settle in.
"I'm following Schmeichel who is a legend. But I've always been confident that given time things would go OK. At the moment, that is happening." "
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|Publication:||The People (London, England)|
|Date:||Apr 9, 2000|
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