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Monday 5 December 2016

Valencia boss Neville a mere spectator for Barcelona visit

Gary Neville
Gary Neville

Valencia will take on Barcelona tonight but new head coach Gary Neville will not lead the side against the reigning Primera Division champions.

The former Manchester United and England defender was appointed at the Mestalla earlier in the week and signed an initial six-month contract with Valencia currently ninth in the table.

His brother Phil has been at the club since the summer and will continue in his capacity as assistant coach for the remainder of the year.

Neville's first game in charge will come in the pivotal Champions League tie with Lyon next week and he explained why he is leaving Saturday's visit of Barcelona to the stand-in coaching pair of Phil and Salvador Gonzalez.

"First of all, I won't be on the bench against Barcelona," Neville said at his unveiling.

"We decided earlier in the week it was too soon, too unprofessional to come in the day before such a big match. It would have been unfair on the players." The England coach met the players for the first time on Thursday morning.

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