Neville plays down renewal talk

Gary Neville insists he has yet to hold talks with the Valencia hierarchy over extending his contract beyond the summer.

Despite a difficult start to his career with the club, Neville has guided Valencia to four straight victories, which have coincided with the arrival of Rafa Benitez’s former assistant Pako Ayesteran, but he maintained his future would only be discussed in April at the earliest.

“I haven’t spoken to the club about my contract,” he said at a Press conference ahead of Sunday’s match against Athletic Bilbao, in the first of three meetings with the Basques in 20 days.

“We said we’d talk in March, but it’s come very quickly. We must focus on the games coming up.

“Now isn’t the time, we’ll leave it for April, but I can guarantee there hasn’t been any contact.

“Three weeks ago, you [reporters] asked me if I wouldn’t renew my contract…

“It wouldn’t be respectful to talk about it now, but I don’t feel different to three weeks ago, when the results didn’t come. I’m just focused on doing very well.

“I hope the fans think I’m an honest and hardworking person.

“I want them to think that I give everything every day. As a child, all I wanted was for the players to die for my club and that they felt the shirt, and that's what I want them to think of me.

“I was pained after the 7-0 defeat, but we’ve had four win since.

“The game against Espanyol was won by both the players and fans. They are the most important things to this club.

“With Pako [Ayesteran], we have a stronger coaching staff.

“The victory over Espanyol gave us a lot of confidence, and Pako is doing tactical work.

“Everything is more fluid now because I don’t need anything to be translated.

“Before Pako came, I spoke to two or three people, whom I trusted, and we agreed that he’d be a very good addition.

“I talk to him and tell him the type of game I want, and he executes it for me.

“[On facing Athletic three times in 20 days], my preference was not to be drawn a Spanish team [in the Europa League], but it’s still a good draw for both teams.

“I think we both have a chance [of success] in Europe. They’re a good team, who press high, but my players have a good feeling [about the tie].

“We must prepare for [three games] well. We always prepare tactically for each game.

“They’re very good in the box, but we’re only focused on what we do.”

Tags Gary Neville