Gary Neville: The main talking points from his unveiling as Valencia head coach

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Old Trafford legend Gary Neville has been appointed Valencia head coach until the end of the season.

For a first managerial job they don't come much bigger than the La Liga giants and the former Manchester United and England right-back faced the assembled British and Spanish media on Thursday afternoon.

Here are the eight major talking points from the former Sky Sports pundit's first press conference as a football manager


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Having been handed a six-month deal and tasked with taking the club into the Champions League positions, Neville's backroom staff will be incredibly important.

He will have his brother Philip alongside him and Miguel Angel Angulo has accepted his invitation to be promoted from the Under-19s to a first-team coach.

On Angulo, he said, as per the Daily Mail: “He is highly respected and is not just here to be a local guy, he’s here to be an important part of the club’s coaching staff in the coming months.”


Despite the length of his deal, Neville is keen to show commitment to the cause by moving his family from England to Spain.

His daughters finish school in two weeks and will then travel - with his wife - to join their father in Valencia.


A subject that obviously kept coming up. Gary was quick to admit that learning the language will be his biggest challenge.

The 40-year-old will take lessons every day. However, he is yet to find a tutor who gets up at 6am every day to fit into his busy schedule.

He is also looking to the players to help him settle in but knows there is a responsibility to learn the language as soon as possible.


The Manchester United icon was asked how he would feel - as a Sky Sports pundit - if a foreign manager, with no experience of the language or the league, was handed one of the biggest jobs in the Premier League.

His response: “I would question it as a neutral observer and would be sceptical, wanting to be proven otherwise.

“I understand that here I have to prove to Valencia fans that I’m capable of doing this job. Those who have concerns will only be removed by winning football matches.”

He went on to say the fans are the most important part of a football club and the coaching staff and players are there to 'guard, serve and deliver.'


Having made 602 appearances in a glittering career for Manchester United, Neville insisted he did not want to insult fans by saying he would produce a playing style similar to his former team - we can only imagine he meant in the Ferguson era.

The England coach said every game takes a different approach but his main objective is to win matches, over a specific style of play.

“I think obviously the absolute intention is to deliver success straight away and it always has to be the same at a club of Valencia’s size. I only know one way and that is to expect to win every single match.

“It’s the absolute minimum expectation of every fan and it should be the same at Valencia.”

On the topic of Manchester United, Neville said he took advice from Alex Ferguson - he would be stupid not to - but the Scot did not convince him to take the job.


The Old Trafford icon believes his current crop of players have been low on confidence in recent weeks but insisted they all start with a clean slate under his stewardship.

There are a number of young players in the Valencia squad and Neville acknowledged they would need time to develop.

With the January transfer window fast approaching, the 40-year-old gave his thoughts on potential signings at Mestalla: “I want to work with the players at this club. They deserve the chance. They wear the badge and the shirt. it’s not even a consideration for me at the moment."


Neville has decided to continue his coaching role with the England national team. 

He insisted Valencia will be his priority 95-99 per cent of the time but there are many hours in a day, and he will have regular phone conversations with Roy Hodgson.


Asked about his role at Salford City: "I don't play for them. From my point of view my input in minimal. The club runs itself in many ways.'

How do you think Gary Neville will get on at Valencia? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below

Gary Neville
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