Gary Neville admits he is uncertain about his long-term future after Valencia were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday night.
Valencia defeated La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao 2-1 , but were knocked out on away goals after Aritz Aduriz’s late strike at the Mestalla.
Neville, who was sent to the stands during the game, afterwards claimed he was unsure whether he will stay on as manager beyond his current five-month deal.
“I’m only thinking about the nine games. That’s all I want to think about. That’s all I should think about,” he said. “I was hired for five months. That has always been the agreement.”
“I’m not closing the door but we all know the contract that I was given. I will make sure that I give everything. I have come to love this club and to love the city. I have never seen such passionate fans; they are a proud bunch and I just imagine what they would be like if the results were better.
“You do need a bit of luck in football. I can think of many matches we’ve played where if we’d have taken the chances we would have won.
“I can always look at that but from my point of view I knew I was here for five months. No manager comes to a club in a good moment, usually it’s at a difficult moment. Results not what they should be for this club and that’s something I’m very aware of. I’ve seen the best performance since I’ve been here in this game.
“The players have taken it upon themselves to respond and we have to do the fans proud in the nine games left. We had words on Sunday after the defeat (1-0 to bottom club Levante) but there is a respect between us.”
Neville, who was appointed by his business associate Peter Lim in December on a deal until the end of the season, was sent to the stands with 10 minutes remaining, but the England coach insisted he did not swear at referee Daniele Orsato, but was reprimanded instead for remonstrating on the sidelines.
“We could have won by four or five,” added Neville. “I was annoyed that Andre Gomes got a yellow card five minutes earlier when the ball hit him from two yards away and then a ball hits one of their players’ arm from 20 yards away and nothing is given. It was not the worst decision ever but the incident with Andre Gomes was 30 seconds before. I was astounded.
“I thought it was a bad decision. I think when the referee watches that he will be disappointed. The linesman had a clear view of it. But the fans can go home happy with the way the team played. We should have won.
“We have set a minimum standard with this performance. The players have to repeat that now.”