After a disastrous start to his reign as Valencia boss, it looks like Gary Neville has turned things around with three wins in the last week. That change of fortune has prompted the club to consider offering Neville a new two-year deal.
Valencia’s president Layhoon Chan in a recent interview with AS made it clear that the Spanish side never considered firing Neville, despite the run of 12 La Liga matches without a win.
“You cannot dismiss a coach for a poor run when the players believe in him – they believe in Gary Neville,” she told AS. “I do understand the football culture in Spain, but we have belief in what we are doing and we will continue in the direction which we believe is the right one.
“And with Gary we have been doing well; now the victories are coming. We are looking to secure a project. The first year went better than we expected, this year hasn’t but we will continue to keep investing.”
Neville was a surprise appointment in December when he was chosen to replace Nuno at Mestalla. It was the former Manchester United defender’s first managerial role and, Chan reveals, was aided by his friendship with Valencia owner Peter Lim.
“We took refuge in Gary Neville because we know him,” says Chan. “We know his leadership qualities and we needed a motivator – someone who could reactivate the team and who could restore the relationship with the fans.
“We were aware that he had not coached a team before but we believed in him. He is a club man and he resolved the division in an instant. He was the ideal choice in our opinion.
“We have a very young squad, with players who are not used to the pressure which has been forced on them and Gary was the ideal person to manage that anxiety although the results didn’t arrive until this week.”
Neville is only under contract with Valencia until the end of the season but if he continues this turnaround and guides Valencia into a Europa League spot, they are currently 7 points out, then the England assistant manager will have a big decision to make. Does he continue to coach, or does he move back into TV work?