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5ive's Ritchie Neville says One Direction's management have 'learned from us'

The singer considers setting up a 'Popstars Anonymous support group' following Zayn Malik's exit

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Ritchie Neville of the boy band 5ive has urged the management of current pop groups to give their stars more freedom.

5ive rose to fame in 1997 before splitting in 2001. They were managed by the same team behind the Spice Girls.

Speaking to the Metro, Neville has described the group's hectic and stressful schedule: "We'd go to the US and the flight would count as our sleep, and we'd be performing as soon as we got off the plane. No wonder you start bickering. You just need a bit of sleep."

Neville continued to claim that One Direction's management have learned from 5ive: "One Direction's manager was the head of our European record label, and I had a chat with him at a festival recently".

"I said, 'They've been going a while, but they still look fresh. When we'd been doing it that long, we looked absolutely f**ked.' He said they'd learned from us and other bands, and now when One Direction do two months of work, they get a month off. We had less than a week off in the first two years and we were doing 18-hour days."

Neville also discussed the recent news of Zayn Malik leaving One Direction, he said: "Possibly Zayn didn't initially want to be in a band. If that's the case, there's every possibility he's had enough and wants to regain the person he is - not being 'the person from that band', which I understand."

"It's very difficult at that age, you haven't had much experience of life outside the band and you have everything done for you. It's a story we see over and over again."

The singer added: "It's sad. Maybe I should set up a Popstars Anonymous support group."

One Direction recently promised fans that they will "carry on stronger than ever" after Malik's departure.

In their first interview since Malik quit the band, the group discussed their future plans and their struggle to get through the fortnight since their former bandmate left.

Speaking to The Sun from Dubai, where the group have begun the Middle Eastern leg of their On The Road Again tour, Liam Payne said the band were "gutted" to lose Malik.

"We're gutted that Zayn chose to leave, but now after a few performances as a four piece, we're feeling confident and are determined to carry on stronger than ever," Payne said, while describing the past fortnight as "probably the toughest" since One Direction formed on the 2010 series of The X Factor.

Louis Tomlinson told the paper that the band were all "100 per cent committed to staying in One Direction" and had "so much more we still want to achieve".

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that One Direction had begun planning their next album.

Niall Horan took to Twitter to reveal that he and his bandmates have been 'organising' writing sessions with their record label for what will be their fifth studio LP and follow-up to most recent album 'Four', which came out last November.

"Had a sit down last night with the label, started organising our writing sessions for the next album! F--- yeaaaahhhh! Can't wait!" Horan tweeted.
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