Gary Neville has shouldered the blame for England's dismal Euro 2008 draw with Macedonia.

In 83 appearances for his country, the Manchester United defender has not managed to score a solitary goal.

Yet Neville knows he will probably never have a better opportunity than the one which fell his way an hour into the goalless stalemate at Old Trafford on Saturday.

When Macedonia goalkeeper Jane Nikolovski parried a Peter Crouch header into Neville's path, it seemed certain the veteran full-back would slam his shot into the visitors' net.

Instead, Neville ballooned a volley into the Stretford End, where he stood supporting United as a kid, and was able only to hold his head in despair.

"In games such as Saturday's, you might only get one chance," he said. "That was the big one and I should have taken it. It was a fantastic opportunity. It almost felt like an open goal in front of me.

"The ball did sit up a little bit but at the very least I should have hit the target. I could have also squared it to Wayne Rooney, although I didn't see him until after I shot.

"It is very disappointing because if I had scored, I would have made it more comfortable for us and they would have had to change the way they approached the game."

As it turned out, Macedonia were able to rely on a counter-attacking style. Even Neville could not quibble about how deserving the Eastern Europeans were of a draw, although he flatly rejected the theory there was any sense of an enemy being underestimated.

"At times they did play really well. You have to give them credit for that but we didn't press them enough or make it difficult enough for them," he said. ..SUPL: