Wednesday 21 February 2018

Chance to manage Valencia too good to turn down- 'incredibly excited' Gary Neville

Now that Gary Neville has his first job he has the chance to prove himself, and to show that he is capable of handling a big job
Now that Gary Neville has his first job he has the chance to prove himself, and to show that he is capable of handling a big job

New Valencia boss Gary Neville said the opportunity to manage the Primera Division club was too good to pass up

The former Manchester United defender was presented to the world's media on Thursday afternoon after agreeing to take charge until the end of the campaign.

Neville, who confirmed brother Phil and former Valencia player Miguel Angel Angulo as his coaches, is determined to make the most of his short-term role.

He said: "When I received the call on Sunday evening I thought 'what a football club' and 'what a challenge'. I think, from my point of view, sitting on television these last few years talking about coaches, the time has come for me to stand up.

"If I'd turned down this job is to have said goodbye to my credibility. I'm incredibly excited to be here. I understand and respect the huge responsibilities that I've been given. I understand from playing here at this very stadium years ago the passion and the pride of the fans. The atmosphere and intimidation is something I want to harness.

"I'm very aware of the traditions at Valencia and how they play. I've played against some excellent Valencia players. I need to appraise the players over the next couple of weeks and it's important to pick the right team and style to win games."

Neville will not be taking a short-term view of the job, though, despite only being contracted to the end of the campaign. I think the only way to approach any job is to think of it as permanent job.

"Every decision I make over the next six months will not just be a short-term decision. I will promote from within and I'm not interested in bringing over an army of coaches."

Like brother Phil, the England coach plans to dive into the culture.

He added: "My family will move over here permanently. My girls will finish school in Manchester in two weeks. Then they will move over to Valencia with my wife. When I was a player I always wanted foreign players to come over and immerse themselves in the culture and that is what I plan to do.

"I don't speak the language. I have to immerse myself. I will take lessons every day. At the moment I have the problem of finding a teacher to get up at 6am every day. When I went to the training ground Philip's Spanish was excellent with the players and I have to have that same level of commitment."

Neville was asked how he would have reacted in his role as a pundit if a Premier League side had hired an inexperienced Spanish manager.

He replied: "I would question it and I would be sceptical and want to be proven otherwise. I understand over here I have to prove myself to the Valencia fans, the players and anyone who has doubts and concerns will only be convinced by winning football matches. I'm not going to shy away form the direct approach I had on television."

Neville also addressed fears he would be distracted by trying to combine the Valencia role with assisting England manager Roy Hodgson in the run-up to Euro 2016.

"Roy was incredibly supportive, positive and enthusiastic for me," he said. "I was inspired by the conversation I had with him. He understood completely the opportunity for myself and was supportive 100 per cent.

"(England) have got the two games in March when Valencia don't play and most of the players are away. From my point of view I wanted to complete my job, certainly through to the European Championship.

"Everyone's understanding is Valencia are my priority other than the two games in March. It doesn't stop me having phone conversations with Roy and the other coaches. I have a lot of hours in my day."

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport