Neville to remain within United fold
Published 04/02/2011 | 05:00
Gary Neville has confirmed his intention to stay within the Manchester United fold for the remainder of the season.
The 35-year-old announced his retirement with immediate effect on Wednesday, bringing an end to a stellar career that brought him eight Premier League titles, a Champions League triumph and 85 England caps.
Neville confirmed it had been a decision he had been thinking about for some time and his performance against West Brom on New Year's Day turned out to signal the end.
However, even though there has been speculation about a media career or a place in Alex Ferguson's backroom team, Neville does not have any concrete plans, although he will stay with the Red Devils in the short term to help out behind the scenes.
"I am going to stay at the club until the end of the season and do some coaching because I have got my coaching badge to complete," he said. "But at this moment in time my mindset isn't to go into coaching or management full-time.
"I have been working for a football club every day for 20 years. I definitely want to try and continue my relationship with this club, even if it is just as a fan. But I want to have 12 months to gather my thoughts."
It is anticipated that Neville will be granted a testimonial at the end of the season in recognition of his contribution to the United cause.
There is a widespread belief that Neville was a fairly average player, who reached his status in the game through tenacity and hard work. Yet such a description does scant justice to his talents.
And he admits he had to reach the highest level every week to cut it alongside fellow 'Class of 92' members Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
"I relied upon qualities that weren't technical or skilful," he said. "I like to think there is a level of intelligence and physically, I felt like I could run all day.
"But mentally I had to do whatever it took to win a game. I was determined to win. That was probably my greatest asset."