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Saturday 3 December 2016

Neville: job too big to turn down

Gary Neville is unveiled as Valencia boss
Gary Neville is unveiled as Valencia boss

New Valencia head coach Gary Neville admits it was time to "step up" and take a managerial role after years of speaking out about football as a pundit.

The 40-year-old former Manchester United and England defender said he would have lost credibility in the game had he rejected the chance to manage the Primera Division giants after being unveiled to the press.

Neville has signed a six-month contract at the Mestalla but spoke like a man planning much further into the future as he will move his young family to Spain in the coming weeks.

As a friend of businessman and Valencia owner Peter Lim, Neville's appointment earlier in the week came as a shock but, with brother Phil already working at the club as a coach, Neville insists he knew it was time to walk the walk after gaining plenty of respect as a pundit on Sky Sports.

"Sitting on television, talking about coaches for these last few years, the time had come for me to stand up," he said.

"If I'd have turned down this job, I could have said goodbye to credibility in football because it's a massive club and I'm honoured and proud to be here.

"I've been offered jobs in football over the last four or five years but timing hadn't felt right and I wanted to learn. When I received the call on Sunday evening I thought what a football club, what an opportunity, what a challenge."

Neville confirmed his brother will continue in his position as assistant and has also welcomed former Valencia player Miguel Angulo who will also form part of his backroom staff.

"One thing to announce is that the coach who will be with me will be Phillip, my brother, and Angulo, who's the coach of the under-19s academy team, a Valencia legend," he said.

"If Phil wasn't here I would want him here. He's diligent, hard-working and from my point of view I'm delighted he's part of the coaching set-up."

Neville may have only initially joined until the summer but, after revealing his family will make the move to join him in Spain, he said he only knows one way to go about a job.

He said: "The only way to approach a football job will be as if it's a permanent job, I don't believe you can make short-term decisions, I don't believe in working that way.

Neville will not be involved for the weekend's league meeting with Barcelona but will take charge for the pivotal Champions League clash with Lyon next week.

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