Neville: Why I’m missing Barca…

Gary Neville explained why he isn’t taking over as Valencia Coach until after the weekend’s game against Barcelona.

Neville has held his first Press conference since replacing Nuno Santo but won’t take the team until Sunday, with the must-win Champions League game against Lyon his first official match.

“On Sunday evening first contact was made. I’d accepted by Monday evening. On Tuesday we discussed the logistics, contracts, the coaches and other important things,” he began.

“Wednesday was the first time for the announcement and today was the first time I could come here.

“It was decided early in the week it’d be unprofessional to take Barca game after one session, unfair to give the players a new voice the day before such a big match.”

Neville, on a contract until summer 2016, also clarified how his role with England will work now he is Los Che trainer.

“When I spoke to Roy Hodgson he was incredibly supportive, positive and enthusiastic. I was inspired. He understood the opportunity. He was 100% supportive. I’d already made my mind up,” he continued.

“We’ve got two games in March when Valencia don’t play and the players tend to be off. I wanted to complete the job to Euro 2016 and everyone’s understanding Valencia will be 99% priority. It doesn’t stop me having phone conversations with Roy.”

Neville doesn’t speak Spanish but brother Phil, who worked with Nuno and remains on the backroom team, does, though the boss intends to learn the language himself.

“A lot of the backroom team speak English but I expect myself to turn Valencian, not them to turn more English,” he insisted.

“David [a video analyst] translated for me. I expect the players to assist. When I saw it at United the players were excellent. But I have to pick up key phrases and to learn as quickly as possible. I’m aware of my responsibility.

“I’m aware of and understand the judgemental nature of football. If I get fantastic results it won’t mean I’m a fantastic coach and if I get terrible results it won’t mean I’m a terrible Coach. It’s important I work as I want to.”

The rest of Neville’s first Press conference as Valencia Coach is here, here, here and here.

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