Gary Neville’s first press conference: ‘Time for me to stand up’

Date published: Thursday 3rd December 2015 3:50

Gary Neville: Ready to return to Sky panel

New Valencia boss Gary Neville said “the time has come for me to stand up” at his first press conference on Thursday.

The former Manchester United defender was presented to the world’s media on Thursday afternoon after agreeing to take charge until the end of the campaign.

Neville, who confirmed brother Phil and former Valencia player Miguel Angel Angulo as his coaches, is determined to make the most of his short-term role.

Neville on why he took the Valencia job

“When I received the call on Sunday evening I thought ‘what a football club’ and ‘what a challenge’. I think, from my point of view, sitting on television these last few years talking about coaches, the time has come for me to stand up.

“If I’d turned down this job is to have said goodbye to my credibility.”

He added: “I’m incredibly excited to be here. I understand and respect the huge responsibilities that I’ve been given.

“I understand from playing here at this very stadium years ago the passion and the pride of the fans. The atmosphere and intimidation is something I want to harness.

“I’m very aware of the traditions at Valencia and how they play. I’ve played against some excellent Valencia players.”

Neville on how Valencia will play

“Every coach wants to play attacking football and therefore entertain people. You must also must find way to win, and that’s the challenge for every coach. I’m not going to insult Valencia by telling them I’m coming over here and playing football like Manchester United.”

On playing with wingers

“I wasn’t expecting that question. It’s important to me to appraise the players as quickly as possible, and play the best style of play that suits us winning matches straight away. I have to pick the right team, irrespective of style. We haven’t got a pre-season.”

Short-term or long-term future at Valencia?

“I think the only way to approach any job is to think of it as permanent job.

“Every decision I make over the next six months will not just be a short-term decision. I will promote from within and I’m not interested in bringing over an army of coaches.

“My family will move over here permanently. My girls will finish school in Manchester in two weeks. Then they will move over to Valencia with my wife.

“When I was a player I always wanted foreign players to come over and immerse themselves in the culture and that is what I plan to do.

“I don’t speak the language. I have to immerse myself. I will take lessons every day. At the moment I have the problem of finding a teacher to get up at 6am every day.

“When I went to the training ground Philip’s Spanish was excellent with the players and I have to have that same level of commitment.”

Neville on a pundit turning manager

Neville was asked how he would have reacted in his role as a pundit if a Premier League side had hired an inexperienced Spanish manager.

“I would question it and I would be sceptical and want to be proven otherwise. I understand over here I have to prove myself to the Valencia fans, the players and anyone who has doubts and concerns will only be convinced by winning football matches. I’m not going to shy away form the direct approach I had on television.”

Combining England with Valencia

“Roy (Hodgson) was incredibly supportive, positive and enthusiastic for me.

“I was inspired by the conversation I had with him. He understood completely the opportunity for myself and was supportive 100 per cent.

“(England) have got the two games in March when Valencia don’t play and most of the players are away. From my point of view I wanted to complete my job, certainly through to the European Championship.

“Everyone’s understanding is Valencia are my priority other than the two games in March. It doesn’t stop me having phone conversations with Roy and the other coaches. I have a lot of hours in my day.”

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