Pako Ayestaran reveals he spoke to Gary Neville before replacing him at Valencia and the former Coach recommended him to the board.
Neville was sacked on Wednesday and Ayestaran, who was on the ex-Manchester United defender’s staff, was named as his successor until the end of the season.
“When the possibility of assuming the role was raised, the condition was that Gary agreed,” Ayestaran said at his presentation, AS reports.
“I talked to him and he told me it was clear and he had recommended my hiring. When it was said I had to go to Singapore [to meet with owner Peter Lim] I told them not to do anything until I spoke to Gary.
“When I was offered the job, it was a condition that Gary agreed. If he didn’t then I wouldn’t be sitting here. My principles are above everything.”
Ayestaran also explained why Miguel Angulo and Jordi Soril had been removed from their coaching roles and replaced by his staff, with Phil Neville, Gary’s brother, remaining as assistant coach.
“I need my staff. I need to share playing philosophy and values. I’m fortunate I have that in [David Caneda and Jose Viela],” he insisted.
“It doesn’t make sense to have staff doing the same job. Angulo was the second coach and Soril the physical trainer. I don’t have a broad staff, myself or the club.
“Phil is different. He’s the assistant and has a long-term contract with the club.”
Ayestaran, who was on Rafa Benitez’s staff at Mestalla, was asked if he has any aspirations of remaining on the bench past the end of the season.
“I don’t think about tomorrow. The future in football doesn’t exist,” he replied.
“If I’m here it’s because I have done something in the past and I have to focus on today. I’ve told the players not to think about the game on Saturday but the now.
“There are two days in which we can’t act, one is yesterday and the other is tomorrow.”