Football

Gary Neville is on the lookout for a new challenge after leaving Valencia.

Gary Neville backed to recover from Valencia sacking

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Gary Neville has been tipped to bounce back from his Valencia sacking after his unhappy experience in Spain came to an end yesterday.

The 41-year-old former England and Manchester United right-back was a surprise replacement for Nuno Espirito Santo in December and he failed to make an impression during his four months at the Mestalla.

With Valencia languishing in 14th place in the Primera Division table, Los Che removed Neville from his role as first-team coach, with former Liverpool assistant Pako Ayestaran taking the reins until the end of the season.

Neville will now focus on his work as Roy Hodgson's assistant as England bid for glory at the European Championship, while he could make a return to TV punditry. The Bury-born defender garnered praise for his work as an analyst for Sky Sports after joining the broadcaster following his retirement in 2011.

Gary Lineker, the BBC presenter and long-serving England striker, feels his countryman will soon return to gainful employment.

Last night he tweeted: " Gary Neville has lost his job with Valencia. Always looked a brutally difficult first job. Sure he'll bounce back in the stand or studio."

Neville is understood to have expected bad news following his return from England duty, but yesterday thanked Valencia for the opportunity.

"I would like to thank Valencia, the fans, staff and the players," he told valenciacf.com. "I would have liked to have continued the work I started.

"But I understand that we are in a results business and in the 28 games (10 wins, seven draws and 11 losses) they have not been to my standards or to those which are required by this club."

Fans began calling for the Englishman's head after a 2-0 home defeat to Celta Vigo on March 20 represented a third successive league loss.

Neville's career in the east-coast city, where brother Phil was already working as a coach, began with a Champions League loss to Lyon at the Mestalla and it was not until February 13 that Los Che clinched their first of only three league wins under his tenure.

Ten days earlier Valencia were thrashed 7-0 by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and they have subsequently slipped out of the Europa League courtesy of domestic rivals Athletic Bilbao.

His temporary successor Ayestaran, brought to Anfield by Rafael Benitez for a three-year spell after the pair won La Liga with Valencia in 2004, will take Els Taronges to Las Palmas on Sunday, in the first of eight games that could prove to be an extended audition for the permanent role.

Reports in Spain suggest Valencia - owned by Singaporean Peter Lim - are also considering an approach for Middlesbrough's Spanish boss Aitor Karanka.

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Topics:
Valencia
Football

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