Sunday 18 March 2018

Gary Neville must adapt to Spanish culture quickly - Quique Sanchez Flores

Quique Sanchez Flores hopes Gary Neville will be a success at Valencia
Quique Sanchez Flores hopes Gary Neville will be a success at Valencia

Gary Neville has been urged to adapt to the Spanish culture as "quickly as possible" by Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores.

Neville, the former Manchester United and England defender, was officially unveiled as the new Valencia manager on Thursday after agreeing to take charge of the La Liga outfit until the end of the season.

The surprise appointment marks Neville's first foray into management after Valencia parted company with Nuno Espirito Santo following Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Sevilla.

Flores, a Valencia supporter, enjoyed 10 years at the Mestalla as a player before taking charge of the club in 2005 and leading them to third in La Liga and a quarter-final spot in the Champions League in the subsequent season. He was sacked in 2007 after a string of poor results.

"Gary needs to adapt as quickly as possible to the Spanish culture because it is completely different to England," said Flores of the former England international who has no playing or coaching experience in Spain.

"The style of football, the philosophy, the speed of play, the mentality of the fans, the culture of the media is all different."

Flores, whose Watford side host Norwich in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday, also urged Neville to learn Spanish.

"Different countries give a lot of values to people who try to adapt as quick as possible," Flores continued.

"If I am coaching in England for two years, one year or six months and I don't speak one word in English, you are thinking I am not interested to know English people or English football so it is very important.

"I respect Gary a lot because he played in the same position as me, he played at a high level, and maybe we are similar age. I hope for all the best for Gary."

Valencia are ninth in La Liga and Neville's first game in charge is their must-win Champions League clash against Lyon on Wednesday. And Flores, who played almost 300 times for the Mestalla club, has told Neville to be braced for a tough start to his managerial career.

"The atmosphere in Valencia is not easy to manage," Flores added.

"So, if I had to say to Gary Neville what he will find in Valencia, I will say: 'Gary, concentrate on the team, because there are a lot of things that you can control'.

"It is impossible to control the passion of the fans. When you are coaching Valencia, the most important thing is you focus on the squad and try to do the best you can because it is the only way.

"The expectation is always very high. When they bring in a new coach they want to know the experience and the life of the coach, before they came to Valencia. But the most important thing is you are able to manage, able to lead, and show the Valencia fans that you are able to get the results."

Press Association

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